This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt, The prompt today is “pace.”
Hurrying down the High Street, I was beginning to get frustrated. All I wanted to do was to get from A to B, but there were people everywhere!
Flyers were thrust under my nose every few steps, people in outlandish costumes bounded up wanting to chat, tourists stopped abruptly in the middle of the street trying to find their way, crowds cluttered up every available bit of space as they flocked round a fire-eater, or a juggler, or someone performing a dance routine.
It was complete mayhem, and I quickly realised that if I wanted to get to my destination, I was going to have to accept that the pace would be S-L-O-W!
This was my first experience of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, and there have definitely been times over the years when I have been in danger of becoming a “grumpy local.” (Well, I did once get trapped on a bus by some Italian tourists who couldn’t seem to understand that I wanted to get off. Three stops after the one I intended, I finally made it off the bus!)
Over the last few years though, I have begun to embrace the madness, and the secret is simple: accepting the slower pace.
It’s impossible to get anywhere quickly in the city centre during August, so just don’t try! I’ve learned to accept that everything will take longer – buses will be packed, streets will be crowded, if you want to go anywhere that involves passing the Elephant House (the café where JK Rowling famously wrote the first Harry Potter book) allow an extra ten minutes and you’ll be fine.
Once you do that, you learn to appreciate that there are some amazing shows right on your doorstep, which thousands of people travel from all over the world to go to. You realise there is something beautiful about the completely random mix of people and performances everywhere you go. (And you can go to a musical at 9 in the morning if you want to!) You pause and watch the street performers, you slow down and appreciate the quirkiness that is everywhere, and you discover it’s actually a lot of fun!
It’s a lesson I should carry over to other areas of life – to embrace a slower pace sometimes, to accept that it’s not all about reaching your destination but that there’s a lot of value in taking time to enjoy the journey!