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Press pause, breathe deeply and savour life

A marathon is a long haul race, and there is no room for improvisation. It requires dedication, effort and perseverance. Despite this, however, increasingly more people decide to run long distance races without taking time to do the necessary training.

Rest assured, I haven't become a running fanatic! I'm sticking with yoga, which I find hugely beneficial. But the marathon metaphor is perfect for today's blog post. The frenzied pace of daily life stops us from savouring everything right at our fingertips, and perhaps it is worth stopping for a moment to breathe, observe and start to walk again. Slowly but steadily.

There is no magic formula for losing weight. Nor is there a learning-English pill. And there are definitely no short cuts in life. All the important things are hard, independently of whether they require ongoing dedication or effort, and often both in equal measures. I fear, though, that our children are not ready for it. Turning on a light is as easy as flipping a switch, but to make it happen instantaneously requires prior preparation; electricity has to reach the switch.

Not so long ago, communicating with friends and relatives required us to be patient and live our lives at a pace set by the mail service. Now, however, it is as easy as opening WhatsApp and clicking on Send. Of course, times change and with them trends come and go.

Luckily, for students, one trend that has taken us by storm is what people refer to as Slow Life: a return to our roots to discover and savour life sustainably through slow actions. Slow food, slow fashion and slow dating are part of the slow approach. Far from promoting an inactive lifestyle, however, slow life encourages us to move in the direction we want and to choose what we spend our time doing. By conveying these values to our children — dedication, work, time and more — we show them the importance of doing things slowly and with awareness. This, in turn, teaches them to be patient and observant, which means they will develop a much greater attention span.

Time hurtles along, but I didn’t make this discovery. One day, we bring a baby into our home, and when we next look up this little bundle of life has become a fully-fledged teenager. That is why I say, press pause. Breathe. Look around you and start again. Savour the summer and enjoy a slow life. Let's pick up where we left off after the holidays!

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