Editorial – Take the time

There are other ways to escape work than climbing out the window, Aslan.

Aslan Shand, acting editor

Have you taken the time to stop lately? I did recently on a park bench.

I resisted taking out my phone to look at the news or check social media. After a few minutes, I began to notice my surroundings.

The silent stalk of the goanna as it realised I wasn’t a threat. The wind rustling both the trees and me. Looking up, I noticed the silent orange head poking out of black wrapped wings as the flying fox swayed high in the trees overhead as it slept.

Mental health is something we talk of more these days. Perhaps one of the hurdles is the endless filling of every moment with work, busy lives and screens. This is not letting us have the time we need to reflect, to allow our minds to wander. The time to be.

I’m beginning to think a little time out, quiet moments of reflection – be it meditation, yoga, prayer, losing yourself in art, thoughts or music or just a walk away from the usual pressures of life – is essential to people’s wellbeing.

We seem to be constantly under pressure to be more places, see more things, understand more, to be busy and to be seen as busy. For many people, busy equates with a fulfilling, important life. But is it?

Even editors need a break – there’s always space on The Echo Publications office floor for a quick nap.

For many, being busy is leading them to feel overwhelmed. To forget to value what was supposed to be the ultimate bonus of technology – more free time, more leisure time, more time with family and friends, more time to do those important things you love.

If you were dying, what do you think you would regret not doing? In 2012 The Guardian reported that a nurse recorded the top five regrets of dying patients. ‘I wish I’d been busier’ was not among them.

The top five regrets were: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends; and, 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I’m going to try to remember to get off the computer, put down my phone and take a look around me. Taking the time to just sit on a random bench in a park gave me a moment to unwind and observe the world. It allowed me to disengage and notice the little things I’m so often far too busy to see.

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3 responses to “Editorial – Take the time”

  1. Len Heggarty says:

    Have you found the time to stop following sheep lately.
    I did on a park bench. I did not pull out my phone and after a few moments I went into panic attack.
    You know what addictions are? There was this overwhelming urge to follow the mob.

  2. I don’t own a mobile phone. Just seeing
    those devouring the hours at whatever
    tempts them is out of my field of vision
    & mind.

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Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

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