I learned something today
After getting on a train 2 hours too soon and finding myself stranded mid-journey in Chesterfield Station it would be understandable if I was on edge, irritable or stressed.
I sat for 2 hours in a tiny station with nothing to do and nobody to keep me company. I saw a man eat garden peas from a Tupperware box with his bare hands(!). I saw my first ever milk-only vending machine. I got my arm stuck in a vending machine. I paced up and down the platform for 30 minutes while my Dad laughed down the phone at me and I laughed at myself.
I became so excited when I realised I had only 19 minutes to go that I started smiling uncontrollably and kicking my legs like a child and I realised something.
I have been blessed by the Gods of disaster.
I gave myself a gift today. The gift of 2 hours to myself. 2 hours in a station to people-watch and wonder. 2 hours of solitude to practice mindfulness and to rest my mind. 2 hours of peacefulness to really appreciate how much I was looking forward to being able to see my family.
In Sheffield (my home) those two hours would have blurred me by in half the time. There would have been bustle, chores and obstacles. I would have missed my moments.
4 minutes before my train pulled in I realised something, something precious. I didn't feel anxious at all. I felt calm. I felt rested. I felt ready to continue my journey and confident about it! (and get free snacks for all my troubles)
I have always prided myself on my ability to stay calm in a crisis, to forgive and to find peace in the madness. Today I remembered just how important it is for my own mental health to spend time away from the chaos of life.
If I go at my own pace, sloooooooow life down and enjoy being in the moment I can be totally anxiety free - even in a situation that someone else might find difficult to cope with.
Clearly one of the biggest causes of my anxiety is pressure. Being alone gave me the opportunity to let myself exhale.
If you can get lost this weekend, do it. Snatch those moments of calm, treasure them - they are few and they are precious and they are easy to overlook in a life full of travel and work and people.
I'll be leaving Chesterfield Station a 5 star Trip Advisor review, weird vending machines an' all...
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Thank you xoxo