#266 // Time Well Spent: August

"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them" Sylvia Plath
How I spend my time has been increasingly, a running theme in my life.

I don't know, maybe it's the Maxine Waters effect and I'm reclaiming my time.

I think it's also been influenced by the M&S Spend It Well campaign. It really resonated with me, and looking into a bit of the background, the agency they worked with came up with the idea based on the insight that "in a world of abundance, people increasingly seek out what is important: the quality experiences, people and things that make life special."

I couldn't have put it better myself.

I've come to realise that one of the only things with veritable value that offers genuine wealth is time well spent.

It's each to their own in terms of what represents the best value in our lives, but here are the things that meant time well spent for me this month.

I'm no longer a cyborg

I randomly switched off my phone for about an hour at work a few weeks ago. That action proved to be absolute gold.

I don't need the digital comfort blanket.

I don't need to be privy to every message, thought and tweet online. What I need to do, at both work and home is to be able to focus on the things I set as priorities.

So when I notice I'm fifty scrolls deep on Instagram, I simply exit the app, turn the phone off and take some phone-free time. It's like coming up for that first gulp of air after not almost not realising that you were digitally drowning.

I read, I write, I watch something in real time. I make, I bake, I watch the world go by. 
I actually do some of those things that I "never have time to do." 
I let myself be alone with my thoughts, good or bad. 

I let myself be bored. It's no bad thing. What we should really question, especially as the generation that have lived on both sides of the digital revolution, is why we feel the need to be constantly distracted and occupied anyway.

I paid for priority boarding

For the first time in my life, I paid for priority boarding. And frankly, it's a contender for the best £10 I've spent all year. Travellers on budget airlines can be some of the most savage people I've ever come across, and I really don't have the energy to argue with you about luggage and space in the overhead lockers. I'm not gonna lie, I felt super smug sat down and fastened into my seat, while they clamoured over each other fifteen minutes later.

Weekends are for slow breakfasts

Reintroducing the Midweek pamper

On the few occasions that I post a selfie, I get compliments about my skin. What do you do?! Well, the answer is drink two to three litres of water daily and apply face masks religiously. Lately, I've been making it a bit more of a luxurious affair by adding a candlelit bath into the mix. That hour to myself midweek is so refreshing and helps power me up to push through to the weekend.

Bouji on the Balcony

I'm essentially set up shop on my balcony.

Think all of those tiny brunch spots in all of the coolest postcodes, but where the eggs don't cost £12. While brunch is one of my favourite meals and makes for a great socialising opportunity, I think we're getting a bit carried away with the spends.

I take my time, buy more premium ingredients and sit outside with a cuppa and a book or you tube playlist and enjoy every bite.

Even if it's porridge, I boil the oats on the hob, put it in a fancy bowl and sprinkle something instagram-worthy on it. It's proving a great way to set the tone for a relaxing weekend. It even has a hashtag.

I'd like to think this weekend ritual is about elevating the experience of something that is an everyday affair, but a) without getting out of your dressing gown, and b) not parting with so much cash.

Oh, and if you're interested, the brunch above was blueberry banana french toast sandwiches. Recipe here. You're welcome.

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