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Slowing Down
For Good?

These pictures couldn't be more perfect for the topic I'm chatting about today because windswept is exactly how I've felt the last few weeks. I've felt flustered, unorganised, anxious and windswept feels like the perfect descriptive to sum it all up. 

After the impact of the last 18 months, in which so many of us had no choice but to take things at a much slower pace than we had previously ever done, life ramping back up not only feels overwhelming but it feels like a speed I'm not used to anymore. 

That slowed down routine full of moments to recognise the important things in life, to experience life away from social media and to spend time working on my mental health as a priority, feels like it's starting to slip away and I for one want to cling onto it. 

Saying hello to a slower way of life over the last year felt at times quite strange but now it feels like a lesson I needed to learn. 

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I realised the other day while planning for the return of fashion weeks, that Autumn is of course just around the corner. Just a couple more weeks of official Summertime and then it's knitwear and boots as far as these short sighted eyes can see. However in amongst the lure of my favourite fashion looks and some much longed for travel, there's a slight panic at how much of 2021 has already passed by. With Autumn on the horizon, that means there's just under a third of the year left to adventure through and all of a sudden I've even seen mention of the dreaded C word - yes you heard that right - Christmas! I know so many of us know that 2021 has been a blink and you missed it year for so many sad and heavy reasons but one small silver lining I've often seen people share, is the slower pace of life we've had thrust upon us. A pace that allowed a lot of us to sit back and adjust, so we could prioritise the things that should have been priorities all along.

All of a sudden I'm thinking about travelling again after over a year of simply not, the return of fashion weeks which are always inevitably stressful no matter how organised I feel I can be, readying for the launch of Inthefrow x Holland Cooper AW21 shortly, talk of the festive season as I plan my work schedule as far as in advance as comfortably possible and then my diary for 2021 is full. So yes I would definitely say windswept, both physically and mentally, feels an appropriate response for welcoming September this year.

The privilege I have is simply not lost on me, please don't ever think it is. Being surrounded by friends, family and loved ones who have navigated so much in both 2020 and 2021 is a stark reminder of how lucky I am to be working and to also have the ability and space to consider even embracing a slower pace of life. I really wonder if any of you feel the same way as me currently? That through what the last 18 months has served us and through navigating it all, if you too have fallen in love with a different way to live this life. It's not necessarily just a slowing down but it's an appreciation of that slowness and the comfort it brings. The embrace that a calmer way of living through this adventure, allows a much more vivid gratefulness of things we used to sadly take for granted.

I think I love to be busy, in fact I know I love to be busy and I could never truly slow to the point of extreme change, but looking back at the anxiety and exhaustion I commonly faced through pushing myself to burnout, is what's brought the feeling of panic back, as we start to explore the world again. I'll forever be grateful for past opportunities and as some who tries their hardest to celebrate the wins along the way, I'm also so proud of myself but at what cost to my mental health did some of those achievements come? If the last year has taught me anything it's that balance is so very important and you cannot push further and faster than your body or brain will allow, without repercussions. I used to think of slowness and of calmness as something to be afraid of and especially as a self employed woman ,something that would cause deep rooted panic but now, it's the slowness that I'm craving in amongst those exciting 'normal' times. There's no fear of a slower pace now, just the comfort that it brings along with it. 

I so hope this makes sense to some of you and perhaps that some of you may be feeling the same way and can even offer some advice of how you're approaching all this change? The change back to 'normal'? The somewhat sudden transition into Autumn? The feeling of loss of a huge part of the year? Do you feel the same? I don't know that I've ever felt as anxious at this time of year as I do right now and that must have everything to do with these changes and differences. I think the next few months for me as we draw 2021 to a close, will be a huge lesson to see if I can incorporate a slower pace of life in amongst hitting the goals I know I so want to achieve. I know myself far better than I've ever done, I respect myself far more than I've ever done and I know what I need far more than I ever have before - I need to lean into those gut feelings more often and if life needs to slow down, that's something I (and we) should perhaps embrace more often.

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