Sitting still with a good cup of coffee world-watching or reading sums up slowness for me but it could equally well be Painting or Hiking or Gardening depending on what lowers your blood pressures or anxiety or just makes you savour moments. Life is short. By the time we get to our 40s or 50s many of us have lost our parents, spouses, or even children. Life is never long enough. No-one should spend it rushing around like a cat with a fluffed up tail. Believe me, when it’s you meowling on top of the fridge it won’t be cute.
I love coffee but over the years I’d got used to instant or any old coffee shop blend because I was always rushing and deep down I didn’t feel I deserved anything nice. A spoonful of supermarket creosote-coated, freeze-dried mouse droppings was good enough for me. I don’t know why I felt that way but I did. I envied people with coffee machines and the women I saw, even in the railway station on the way to work, sitting with a cappuchino and newspaper but I never thought it could or should be me. Now I take time over coffee. I let myself recognise the difference between a South American bean and an Ethiopian, and between a Russian and an American blend, between morning and evening, and pick-me-up and dessert.
I sit in cafes a lot to people watch and write. I rarely take my laptop or tablet unless I’m seeing clients and write by hand instead which is slowing and calming for me and forces some discipline on my brain. I didn’t learn much from working for The Bank but when I finally cracked up I learned that slowness, me time, savouring moments, and deliberately, intentionally doing what makes me happy means I’m taking care of my health rather than being self-indulgent.