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Moving slow

22nd March 2020 by Luke Morton

On slowing the pace of life – we all face it whether you like the idea or not. I've been facing up to this reality and have found the time and space to share my thoughts here.

Laptop open on a desk in front of a window, out that window a blue sky and Manchester skyline

Strange times, aren't they? As I sit here reflecting on a Sunday morning, looking out over Manchester city centre from my flat window, I can't help but think about the lyric "easy like Sunday morning". It's not just Sunday that's moving slow though, right? It's as if time itself has slowed.

Please excuse the length of the next paragraph...

The last few months have seen me at my busiest. I've recently opened Made Tech's Manchester office while trying to keep up with the duties of CTO for our group. A common week would see me involved in writing sales proposals; hiring engineers, delivery folk and management staff for Manchester; ensuring existing client projects are running smoothly across London, Manchester and Newcastle; line-managing our senior engineers; attending our weekly senior leadership team meeting; helping roll out a change to Made Tech's operating model; writing and reviewing content for our new book; networking for new business opportunities; ensuring new client contracts are moving ahead and getting signed; trying to work out how I open up an office in Newcastle; lining up more office space for Manchester for the third time since we moved here, as we're growing much faster than expected; and somewhere in that, trying to find time to find the time to get to hospital for my diabetes checkup.

I know I'm in a massively fortunate position to still have a job and to have the time to breathe when so many can't, but in the spirit of being open about mental wellbeing, that was pretty cathartic to write. I know I'm balancing a lot. I know I have to probably let go of some of the above. I know I need to make more space for myself. I know I'm somewhat addicted to my work in an unhealthy but probably fairly common way. Little did I know I was on a collision course.

Crash. I smash into the reality of this virus like a car colliding with a brick wall. Thrown through the windscreen, or perhaps the looking glass, I find myself in an alternate reality. I find myself moving slow.

I've spent the past week since last Sunday mostly in my flat. I was super focussed going into Monday; I had a sales opportunity to work on and working from home I had no distractions. Finally, some dedicated and focussed time. Once I completed my part of the sales proposal on Wednesday evening, I slumped. I'd had a cold for a while, but I hadn't the time for a cold and so it didn't exist – until it did. Until my work was done and my isolation realised itself in my head. With no more work to do and lack of social interactions to keep me busy, I let myself slump.

I took Thursday and Friday to myself. I let my heart calm down. I let my head clear all the noise. As I said before, I'd usually have worked through a cold like this, but I decided I deserved some time – I needed a mental recovery. I let go and got used to moving slow.

So. It's Sunday. I'm looking out of my window and I'm calm. It's a beautiful blue sky out there, I can feel the warmth on my skin through the window. It is only this morning that I realise how much I needed to catch my breath. In this alternate reality there really is more time, time has warped, and as horrible and weird as things are, I'm taking this time for myself.

I'm taking more time to make my coffee. I'm finally reading my amassed book collection. I'm sitting and listening to music while doing nothing else. Regular me would be having fits at the lack of productivity. But these aren't regular times, are they?

I'm sending out positive thoughts to all the people I know and to those I don't. I hope on this Mother's Day you can find, at least a moment of, peace in this solitude. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, if it helps. I'll be right here. I've got plenty of time.

I'm moving slow.

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