Be a Tortoise!

Although Kefalonia is famously known for it's turtles rather than tortoises, tortoises & terrapins are also quite common Greece. Although rarely seen, Nicos and I once had the privilege of rescuing a tortoise from Avithos beach. We lovingly named him Harry Avi! 

I'd like to take the credit for writing the following article, but it was written by a talented young lady - Jasmine Rose Elliston. I felt compelled to share it as she eloquently highlights a very important message that we all need reminding of every now and then. 
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. 
For a long time, I thought fast and eager was the way to be.
Better to be busy, making plans and goal-setting. Achieve, achieve, achieve.
Living in a high-speed city doesn’t help either. Road rage, construction noise, everyone rushing around pretending that they’re going places. When really they’re avoiding their work colleague on the street, trying to catch the early train home or pacing to the post-office to return a delivery before the queue gets too long.
‘I don’t have time’ has become fashionable; accepted amongst the people we converse with. Forever cramming in things that don’t matter to us, or things we ‘ought’ to do. We can’t wait for things to feel over and done with — then we’ll have time and energy to do as we please.
But the reality is; life is going to keep moving.
“Life is short.” A sentence that makes me feel motivated yet pressured.
As if I need to tick off my to-do list now, smash my goals now. Travel, try new things, meet new people, read lots of books, learn a language amongst all the other day-to-day things.
Do this, do that, quickly! Before life flashes you by!
I say — slow down.
I’m not saying these ideas aren’t good or worth pursuing. I’m just saying these things are ideas. And you don’t need to do them all right now.
You don’t have to travel the world, you might just fancy a few trips every year. You don’t have to wear what’s in fashion, you can keep wearing what you like.
You don’t have to run a marathon, you might just like jogging for fun.
You don’t even have to keep reading this.

Life happens in chapters. Things will happen when they’re meant to. Stop trying to discover the later chapters — it only ruins this one.

Choose things that align with you, and pursue them in a way that’s not rushed. How are you meant to enjoy all the things you set out to do if you’re limiting the time you spend on them because you’re trying to cram in everything else?
You can’t be present with where you are and what you’re doing when you’re thinking about the next thing. Even right now as I type this, I’m aware of all the other things I need to get done and want to do. But actually, they can wait.
Sure, I’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment from folding my washing, taking the bins out and calling my family. I like getting things done. But when I’m reflecting back on my life, I’m not going to say: ‘I’m so glad I made more time to do more washing’.
What do you do for you? What’s your happy place? Do you go there often?
It shouldn’t be a once in a while, self-care thing. It should be as necessary as your washing.

Tortoises, that spend most of their lives on land, have their eyes looking down at objects in front of them.

So keep focused on yourself and what you want. Stop worrying about what other people are doing, how much they’re doing and obsessing about what they might think of you.
We live on a blue dot. We’re all trying to figure out that concept and what role to play here.
Tuck yourself away in your own shell more often and touch base with who you are and what’s inside. It’s important to live a life that’s your own.
Embrace moving slow, with an aim to live a more present and intentional life.
Be a tortoise.

Posted by Eleni Nicolaou
Written by Jasmine Rose Elliston
Original article can be found on