Today was a rough day at work. More and harder situations are piling up on me and there doesn’t seem to be a reprieve. And because of a family crisis, I am having to take on additional tasks to support a colleague. It all just feels hard at the moment. A perfect time one might say to begin working on mindfulness, when it is most needed.
I try to take a walk every lunch time to get out of the office and clear my head and today was no exception, but I decided to stop and each lunch while I was out. So, I sat by a window, in the sun at a coffee shop and watched people, a past time which often helps me when I am feeling upset, worried or stressed. Today though, it didn’t. I felt more anxious and wanted to get up and move. So as soon as I finished my lunch, I got up and left. I walked into Paperchase because I do love all things stationary. This helped and I loved looking at all the notebooks just waiting for a story to be written in them. But, I still felt a bit anxious. And then I went to Waterstones.
The minute I entered the book shop, I felt better. The atmosphere of alternative narratives all being played out between the pages swallowed me whole. I looked at the stationary, and loved it. I browsed the shelves and found so many more books I wanted to read. And I’m not even the big reader in my family. I poked my nose into the cafe and thought, this would make a lovely place for a scone and tea. But, because I had spent so much time eating my lunch, I didn’t have much time in the book shop. I was disappointed to leave and head back to the flurry of activity that all felt demanding and stressful. And so I made a promise to myself. Tomorrow, Friday, I would take myself to lunch at the cafe in Waterstones. I would eat something tasty and enjoy a good browse. And if I could possibly get away with it, I would even leave work early to go back. It may not be perfection, but for right now, it is the quiet place where I can reconnect with myself. So thank you Waterstones for existing. And thank you to all the book shops I frequented growing up. I believe this book shop is my oasis because my parents laid the foundations by taking me to Borders once a week.
As a family we would browse, collect a pile of books and then carefully select those we would buy. Often, we would not read them, but I would start them. I always loved the start of a journey, and beginning a new book was like beginning an adventure in that new space. So thank you mom and dad for teaching me the art of escaping into a good story. And thank you book stores for being the oasis, the calm in the storm of my life. Thank you for existing. Know, that for at least this girl, you are still loved and treasured.