Thursday, October 01, 2015

Tip: On Slow Living

Remember when we talked about the business of being busy? That was a few years ago, and I'd love to be able to say that I've come so far in that time -- you know, that I've grown by leaps and bounds, have found the perfect balance and now, since I've got it all figured out, have some life-altering, earth-shattering, blow-your-mind advice to share. I wish I did, but honestly, I don't. I sometimes wonder how far I've even come since that first post.

But we all try, don't we? We all try as hard as we can to tone down the busy, crazy schedule. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. It seems like there are always things that need to be done, places we need to go and things just generally pulling at our attention. Everything demands attention NOW. I mean, we live in such a NOW culture and this idea of instant gratification has quickly become the norm. In a sense, we don't know how to wait and the term "slow down" has all but been expelled from our vocabulary. My mom, for example, is incapable of slowing down. She'll be on the go from sunrise to sunset -- even on the weekends!

It boggles my mind, actually. But to paraphrase Miss Miley, she can't stop. So I was pretty relieved when I came across Julia's post on slow living. Not only is she an amazing writer, but she also manages to find the zen even with three kids running around (AND she lives in a seaside town, which I'm pretty jealous of...). Her words just ring so true for me...

For a while I wondered whether slow living was an indulgence for those who don’t have the constant companionship of a very chatty three year old until it occurred to me that maybe I am confusing slow with quiet and we could all learn a lot from a chatty three year old. By which I mean she stops and notices everything. She has no concept of time and is certainly incapable of rushing. When she finds pleasure in something she will repeat it indefinitely, whether that be stacking wooden blocks to knock them over, picking daisies from the lawn to cram into her favourite plastic cup or rolling down the slope in our garden again and again. And again. Perhaps for me this thing called slow living is not necessarily about sitting in a chair but more about taking pleasure in the simple things.
'Slow’ is something to be deliberately chosen and slotted in to ‘busy’. Taking pleasure in the moment rather than planning the next. Slowing the thought process perhaps? I’m not sure but definitely a conscious decision to pause a while. Quite literally stopping to smell the roses, to admire the view, to enjoy the simplest of things in a way long forgotten as time and task take over.

So what can we do? Maybe this business of slowing down is such an individual choice and one that each person has to make for themselves. After all, what is calming and relaxing to one person might just be plain and boring to someone else. The key, I'm starting to realize, is finding that thing -- that teeny, tiny spark -- that brings you such joy that you can barely contain it. Those little moments that, yes, seem so little at the time, but turn out to make a huge difference in your life. For me, some of those things include: Blogging, reading magazines, '80s sitcoms, playing games, hoarding lip balms and spending time with my family. As cliche as it sounds, maybe it really is all about the little things in life. Maybe in the end, it's really just about grabbing all those happy moments you can.
Does this ring true for you, friends? Have you found yourself craving an escape from the busy, frantic pace? What are some little things you do to "stop and smell the roses"? Any tips or tricks you'd like to share? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

1 comment:

  1. Great post- I'm always running around and sometimes it just feels like nothing is registering- I'm just going from one thing to another, sorting out, organising, working, cleaning the house, cooking etc etc So I tried to think of when I did feel really happy and totally at peace inside and out and it was this summer in England, walking down a hill in the centre of Bath, a beautiful town in the south west, looking over to the hills with my arms outstretched like I was flying ( weirdo alert!). I had a total feeling of freedom and oneness with everything. Just letting go is a great feeling!!
    Thank you, Melissa, for your lovely blog.


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