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So, this week I’m doing something a little different and throughly enjoying the break in my life. I get to ride the train to the city and drink coffee while I’m walking (a latte, with nutmeg if I can find it, no extra shots I’m a lightweight insomniac these days. But definitely not a Orange Mocha Frappuccino.)

I get to observe people being in a hurry, dealing with their kids on the school run, interacting with each other at doors, in public spaces, in passing, some (like me) with masks on, some not, sadly, getting in my magic two meter square. Yeah, I’m twitchy with the figures still rising.

It’s just a people watching Mecca, I hope my brain is filing and compiling for future reference.

So, with this thing I’m doing, I get to sit in a room with 18 other people, strangers, and wait – a lot… what I’m finding is interesting to me, most have books, devices (I’ve been on WordPress a lot this week and it’s only Wednesday) there’s a knitter and two chaps who are working on their laptops, two ladies who are very sociable with anyone who wants to talk to them, an older lady who’s prone to make negative remarks about time wasting and getting on with stuff and one lady who has no entertainment at all, she just stares off into space… literally all the time.

On Monday, there were less of us and I was just revelling in my comfy chair, being able to not feel guilty about getting f***all done, a few people were jumpy and not enjoying the inactivity or the ‘uncomfortable’ silence, the unfamiliarity of the others.

Yesterday we were not here long (although the older lady did whinge about inefficiency, as we left she whinged about a meeting she now had to attend… I said “I won’t tell them” she looked at me as if I’d lost the plot. Can’t please some folk eh?

Today, it’s silent, a more comfortable familiar silence. Apart from the lady staring out the window, everyone is reading/working/knitting/blogging 😬 and nobody looks uncomfortable with the quiet. Which is lovely, because I do enjoy the quiet.

It occurs to me that, unlike ‘stare into space lady’ I don’t know how to do nothing anymore, how doing nothing is actually a very precious skill.

As an introvert who (most days) can step up at the flick of a switch I don’t need other people physically in my sphere, I enjoy company through my online friends and interacting via comments here, also in text form on other sites, text is definitely still my favourite form of communication. It allows me time, to absorb what I’m reading, to think before I respond, to listen and be heard. I spend so much time with a device in my hand that if I should inadvertently find myself without it, I get a bit panicked, my world outside my family is in my phone, often my family are in my phone too…

Recently, I’ve had less time to be on my phone, I’ve had to work, after work I’m mentally exhausted. I’ve found the office ‘banter’ draining (I don’t watch Corrie or Strictly, can’t stand reality tv,) I’ve missed the stream of consciousness that online chat can be, the great relief I feel when vomiting thoughts at my blog, poems or prose. So it’s pleasant to have the time to sit silently and think, to try and gain some control over thoughts of what I need in my headspace, after this interlude, to make being me work right. To find my balance. To find what makes me happiest and somehow fold that into the pages of my life like a pressed flower in a book.

I have potentially another week and a half of being here, doing this… if all I achieve is clearing my headspace, knowing myself better, touching other lives positively via my phone, then I think I’m still winning.

I might try the stare into space thing… maybe.