5 minute read
Last month, I was waking at dawn and listening to birdsong. It turns out that when you slow down, that’s not the only thing you start to hear. Normally, I’m rushing around so much that I don’t detect those little whispers of the soul; the subtle nudges that have to become great big shoves to get your attention. But I heard a loud whisper in July after visiting one of our Psychologies experts, coach and TED talker Tiu de Haan, who lives on a houseboat in London. I live in Sussex but my 16-year-old son, Charlie, has just been offered a place at a sixth form college in Islington to study film. A brilliant opportunity but a huge commute for him.
I have learned on my slow journey this year that my priorities in life are the people I love – and my son is the centre of my world. I only have a few more years before he flies the nest and the long commute would mean I’d hardly see him. After visiting Tiu on her boat, I had a flash of inspiration. Why not move back to London and onto a boat? It would be more affordable than a flat, Charlie would only have a five-minute commute and I could have a two-year adventure? That quiet whisper turned into a roar and, after six weeks of research, synchronicity and epic decluttering, I have rented out my house, bought a 46-foot narrowboat and secured a mooring in a marina.
The inside story
At Psychologies, we constantly ask our readers to listen to their inner voice, yet I’ve been so overwhelmed by the demands of life, that I’ve stopped listening to mine. But 2019 has given me the opportunity to understand why I was travelling so fast and helped me find a new path – where I have focused on what’s really important to me. Decluttering my house and giving everything away so we can go and live on a boat has made me realise that stuff doesn’t matter. And learning how to accept and have compassion for myself while navigating the world with my emotional baggage has helped me get back into the flow of life. Literally.
My ‘slow boat’ is now in the River Lea and I am sailing downriver to my new life in the city. Let the adventure begin.