On the Beauty of Now

It’s taken me some time to get back on track after a period of feeling pretty low, lost and in a state of blanketed shock about our COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. Not being able to forward-plan left me feeling – again – in limbo and having done a good five weeks of that whilst we waiting to move house, I wasn’t ready. I like to be doing things all the time (whether they’re ~productive~ or not), and working to some sort of end-goal. But quarantine threw all of that out of the window.

Would we be back to normal programming in three weeks?

Three months?

That remains to be seen.

Well, if I’m being brutally honest with both myself and you, I don’t think we’ll return to the old guard of normal programming. And that’s a good thing.

As a collective society, we’ve been programmed to have things at arms’ reach, within a simple tap and scroll, a Click & Collect. Ran out of something? Nip out and buy more. Buy a few so we don’t run out as quickly. Need something to entertain us? Pop out and browse for hours; whether we bring anything back as a token or for fun is a bonus. Fancy something to look forward to through the slog of the everyday mundane? Book a fancy schamancy holiday. Get those ‘dates in the diary’. The calendar is full; phone storage fuller; bank balance waning.

I’ve spent a lot of my own lockdown journaling, in a misguided attempt to untangle my messy thoughts. (They’re so messy; thoughts, handwriting, words.) A big jumble. But what endured through many of my journal entries was this: we always have now. For many people, that’s all we have. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us; next week’s groceries aren’t promised to us; pay cheques aren’t promised to us.

The beauty of ‘now’ is that lots of us – I certainly am – feel ready to lift the pause we’d put on things. We’re tackling those odd house jobs. Starting DIY kits and new hobbies that previously we had ‘no time for’ because of commutes, brunch dates, outdoors errands that drag on and on and on. We’re thumbing through pages of novels. We’re not putting off anything, anymore. I’m 8,000 words further into my manuscript and I’m also heavily in the grips of a coffee addiction, but we can’t have it all 😉 We’re playing Monopoly because we finally have time for that blasted never-ending game. We’re finding joy in the smallest things, truly in the everyday mundane, moments we didn’t see before because we were in the pursuit of more, of new, of next.

‘Now’ is also something to celebrate. The instantaneous, non-filtered, non-thought out parts of us. Sometimes hazy, but more often than not, a unique time to revel in how authentic and ‘for us’ everyday moments are. If a day that-is-Wednesday-but-feels-like-Sunday-maybe-groundhog-day only brings you a delicious tea, 30 minutes outdoors alone, and watching spring bloom from behind a windowpane, so be it.

‘Now’ is a fleeting moment – what do you want from ‘now’?

The beauty of now is that we won’t have it again.

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