« Let it go » or learning to go with the flow
Let it go. Not just a hit song from Disney that you can’t get out of your head (especially if you have a 5-year-old daughter!) but also a great piece of life advice. Arguably, one that the whole of humanity has had to learn since the new reality of COVID. We can’t control everything, far from it. Sometimes it might be better for our sanity and our happiness to just let it go.
For someone who is a control freak and likes planning everything to the last detail, learning to let go is an ongoing challenge for me. But it has also been one of the most enriching and liberating lessons I have learnt.
Marrying into a Moroccan family, I have my fair share of stories about discovering a new culture. My in-laws are a very traditional Berber family, living on the edge of the Sahara dessert. Communication is very limited (unless you speak Arabic or Berber, which I don’t). Their daily lives are a far cry from the fast-paced, modern society that I grew up in.
I have only been to the small town where my husband comes from a handful of times. The first time I went there, I really didn’t know what had hit me. I was so overwhelmed with the experience and the discovery of this new culture. It felt like another world.
Now, knowing that we would be going there for a few days this summer was already getting me all stressed out.
How hot would it be? Extremely!
Where would I sleep? Probably on the floor.
Where would the kids sleep? Definitely on the floor.
What time would we eat? Very late.
What would we eat? Red meat (also available for breakfast).
What would we do all day? Sit, eat, wait, sleep.
I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea. My daily comforts were no longer to be. I would have no control over where (or how long) I would sleep. Nor when or what I would eat. Time takes on a new meaning here. Time would tick by slowly.
Go with the flow
I got myself into a frenzy worrying about it, dreaming about it, before we even got there. But then I thought to myself, what’s the point? You can’t control it. Enjoy it.
Enjoy having nothing to do. Enjoy the food, whenever on offer. Enjoy being able to nap if you want to. Enjoy how happy everyone is that we are simply here. Enjoy sipping sweet mint tea. Enjoy just sitting there, observing. Enjoy just being. In short, go with the flow. And let the rest go.
This realization ended up being very liberating. Instead of resenting the circumstances, embracing this new culture has led to a richer experience of life. An experience where you slow down. An experience where you can simply be.
Let go to enjoy the simple pleasures in life
I’ll admit a few days is enough. I will be happy to get back to my Nespresso machine. And my bed. But it’s a great reminder to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. We can get so caught up in controlling every detail that we forget to enjoy them.
In the new reality we live in today, we can probably all benefit from learning to let you. We are still at the mercy of sanitary regulations, and probably will be for quite a while yet. So next time you get stressed out when things are out of your control, remember that it might just be easier to let go.