A few weeks ago, we sold our flat in London and half the stuff in it. The coffee table, TV stand, sofa, and three side tables were all sold on to new owners to get value from. Even as a minimalist, regular decluttering still needs to happen and I wasn't surprised to find that I needed a few trips to the recycling centre to dispose of random planks of wood, unopened cans of paint, and spare plant pots that we had hidden away “just in case.” Once again, we are officially off the property ladder in exchange for a more digital nomad type of life—for now. We’ve sold the brick and mortar in exchange for collecting road trip experiences. We're currently in a small village called Crich, a place I hadn't heard of before coming here but it's right near the Peak District in the north of England (well, midlands really but anything north of the M25 is north to me).
Everything we need for 2021 fits in our dinky Hyundai i20. That includes all my work gear, clothes, toiletries, cosmetics, electronics, plus Daisy the Dog and her food, games, and medicine of course. She gets the whole back seat to herself with her comfy bed. We plan to be around here for another couple of weeks before heading down South to Devon for a few months. It's an interesting way to live, work and explore. It’s constant change and slow travel combined. This weird hybrid can attack the senses and while leaving you in awe of the surroundings and adding to the wonderful experiences travelling can give you, it also can be quite bizarre and discombobulating. A word I've never written ever. See, this is a new thing!
During one of my days off, we took a drive out to Chatsworth House to stroll around the gardens and visit the farm shop. This shop knew how to push my buttons. Fresh pastries and locally sourced chocolate, cakes, alcohol and other homemade delights. I almost bought jam - which I probably eat once a year at most. You'll be pleased to know I restrained myself from the jam but one thing that did catch my eye was a packet of oat biscuits half covered in milk chocolate. Yum!
I bought a pack of five.
These biscuits weren't cheap but I could tell they were going to be good. You know the type. The ones that make you want to rip the wrapping off with little care and attention. I knew that they would be an awesome after dinner treat or mid-afternoon snack. The day after, I was set up for work as usual, in the living room. It was busy. The laptop had more tabs open than necessary, my iPad was still on zoom after 5-6 client coaching calls, the work phone still had headphones tangled around it from a call earlier in the day, and my personal phone was lighting up every few minutes. I was consumed in my own busyness, and I hadn't eaten anything other than a smoothie for breakfast. Now, in the middle of the afternoon, was the perfect time to step away and grab one of these new and highly valued biscuits.
I delicately took two from their wrapping, so as not to waste any goodness through unnecessary man-handling and placed them on a plate in the kitchen before walking them back into the living room work chaos I had created. I laid the plate carefully between the laptop and the iPad, grabbing the top biscuit and surveying where to have my first bite, chocolate or not. Chocolate, of course. A second after that one bite, I put the biscuit back on the plate, now obscured by tech, and defaulted to responding to an instant message on Microsoft Teams that flashed up. As I started to type back, mouth full of biscuit with the obligatory, “yes I’m free, what’s up?” I stopped.
At that moment, I caught myself being sucked into business and I had to get out. I immediately closed the lid on my laptop, shut down the iPad and set both phones to silent. I grabbed my plate of one and two-thirds biscuits and laid back on the sofa. With my feet up on the table, blocking the view of the tech, I stopped and did nothing but enjoyed the biscuits for the next few minutes.
It was glorious.
It was just another reminder that no matter how much life stuff takes over, you always have the choice to stop. Some like to remain on the hamster wheel, but I can't. I don't want to. I want to slow down. Don't let anything get in the way of you just stopping for a moment and enjoying your biscuit. Everything else can wait.