Sometimes, life just pulls the rug from underneath you. This forces you to change course, do something that you probably would not have considered before. But even if you might not have chosen the new circumstances had you been given the choice, it is true good things can come out of bad ones. This is what happened to me.
I used to live a busy London life, working in IT in an investment bank in the City of London. Although I liked my job and enjoyed the constant intellectual challenge, my body soon started complaining about the hard work and long hours. My health started to deteriorate very gradually: I had frequent colds which always turned into sinus infections and I constantly seemed to be on antibiotics to fight the infections. My energy levels just kept on dropping and eventually, I was unable to work at all. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as M.E.) and given sick leave.
Initially, I was very ill and at my worst spent a few months more or less bed-ridden, sometimes unable to even sit up long enough to eat a whole meal. A couple of years went by, when I was unable to do very much at all, except to rest and perhaps read a little. Even listening to music and watching TV was too exhausting.
But eventually, having tried all kinds of remedies, both conventional medicine and some alternative ones, I started improving, very slowly, with lots of up and downs on the way. We decided to move out of London, to the peace and quiet and fresh air of the Kent country side. Here, my improvement has continued, and although I am not yet anywhere near recovered, I can now do a lot more than I used to be able to.
While I would not wish this illness on anyone, there are some aspects of it that I am very grateful for. Although as a teenager I used to be very creative, as an adult I was always so busy with work, housework and the general business of modern living that I completely forgot that there used to be a creative side to me.
Spending so much time having a very quiet life has woken up the creativity in me again. When you are not bombarded with stimulation from the outside, I suppose your brain starts making its own entertainment. I found that , because of the mental space and having plenty of time, creative ideas just keep bubbling up.
While I would still choose to be healthy and have a “normal” life, if I were given the choice, my new life has aspects that I would not want to give up even if I suddenly had a miracle cure. Having a slow life is a luxury that many people can’t afford these days. For me, slow pace and quiet life are essential for sustaining my newly found creativity.
This blog is about my new slow life.