The approaching move is bringing out two less-than-ideal behavioural traits in me. At the best of times I’m quite results- and action-oriented, and if I know there’s something that needs to be done, it’s hard to do anything else before taking steps to progress that thing. If I know that I need to find an electricity provider for my new flat, and that the ‘next action’ to do that is something that I can do right now – I’m not blocked by anything – then I want to take that action right now.
Obviously there are many things like that with the move. Undesirable trait number 1 is that it has been super hard to focus on work tasks that are more in the important-but-not-urgent category. It’s like there is a fire alarm going off in my head while I’m sitting down, trying to read a report. Sometimes, if it’s quick to do, I’ve just done whatever the thing was to stop the alarm ringing, but as you might guess, that just activated a new alarm.
This has made me think about ways to stop or quiet the fire alarm. Clearly during working hours, I should be doing the job I’m being paid for, even if there are urgent matters to tend to in my private life. But how to get my brain to agree? My ideas so far:
- Keep a notepad at hand for writing down any of the things that pop in my head demanding to be addressed.
- Assign a specific time to deal with the fire alarm so as to feel like I’m not going to forget or run out of time.
The other undesirable trait is to do with people – I find that as time is running out, I find myself wanting withdraw from people. This feels short-sighted and is, I think, less about not wanting to spend time with people I won’t be seeing much more of, and more about impatience. Talking with someone requires slowing down and being willing to set aside for a short time whatever it was you were in the middle of. But as more and more of the fire-alarm-setting-off things get organised, I feel readier and readier to take the step of actually moving. I don’t want to stand and talk, I want to go! It has started to feel like I’m idling in traffic, and the light is amber and won’t go green.
I want to make an effort to slow myself down and enjoy the remaining days of life as it is now. I always end up feeling most nostalgic about the ordinary flow of life when something has changed, anyway.
On Sunday, I went on a wonderful farewell tour of my new home country with a top friend. 🥇 We walked near Wanbourough and came across several unforeseen pleasures, including a vineyard, a contemporary art gallery with an exhibition I loved and an art deco chapel.
I came away from the exhibition of the works of Fiona Millais feeling jealous of people who have their own houses and can buy art for their walls, but afterwards I decided I don’t need the walls to be my own before I can buy art for them. I bought a painting of what seems to be her core theme: a quiet country walk with a pensive mood. I’m thrilled with it and to be taking away something so evocative of dozens of walks I’ve enjoyed over the last 13 years in the UK.