The art of ‘slow living’ isn’t just about linen aprons and baking on an old wooden table, covered in flour. It’s finding the beauty in those little moments, it’s finding time to pause, it’s not mentally cleaning up mess whilst you make it. For me, it’s putting life into perspective.
Who says we have to be busy, who says we have to be busy all of the time? Why do we need to be busy? Why can’t we go about our days at our own pace? When did it become ‘lazy’ to do that? Taking a second to breathe in that gorgeous aroma, taking one more look at that beautiful bird dancing in the air or just sitting down for a minute.
Arlo is 9 months old and he is full of will and opinion. He had been screaming so loudly this morning I’m sure the men in timbuctu could hear his harrowing cry. He has two big front teeth cutting his gums and mummy can’t fix it. Mummy, that’s me, has tried everything. From soothing him with various natural remedies, to the other end of the spectrum and giving him an entire dose of Calpol.
As our day went on, more and more jobs, tasks and chores were added to my mental ‘to do’ list. I couldn’t get started on any of them without Arlo bursting my ear drums. Then, quite suddenly, a message pinged up on my phone. An Instagram pal wondered what slow living activities I enjoy. Interesting.
I sat Arlo in his cot, with his favourite teddy and a dim light, went to our office/ guest room /breathing space, and sat down. I had a good think about what slow living activities we enjoy together. I realised that all these different moments and fun times whirling around my mind, should be happening everyday and all the time. Not an endless list of chores, a screaming agonised baby and a hot mess of a mama. We should be living our lives for what it is.
We live in the countryside, and I mean we live in a very small village with one bus route. I don’t drive, and I am on maternity leave pay. Arlo and I depend on simple life pleasures for entertainment. It certainly puts life into perspective. Take away your car, your job, your list of subconscious demands and you’ll have an idea of my current situation. It’s simple, it’s minimal and it’s inexpensive.
I should be taking advantage of this now before life has the opportunity spring back the opposite way next year, when I return to my day job in London.
There will be a commute, there will be almost double the income we have now, there will be more things to do in less time, rushed evenings and action packed weekends. Or there will be ‘journeys’ to nursery and the office, there will be evenings spent together – enjoying our company, adventures and relaxed weekends.
See this as a New Years resolution.
* she says excitedly whilst she grabs a roll of bags *
Firstly, I need to clear out the clutter that is piling up, the duplicates, the excess and donate it all to charity. We have chores that are making chores of chores, and jobs of jobs. A good clear out will refresh our house, which should be a home now.
Then, I need to use all of our nice things, instead of leaving them in cupboards or glaring them occasionally with admiration.
It’s something I need to practise. I need to keep focused and see everything in a real perspective – not the way we’re commonly told.
The sunset, the pot of tea, an unfinished sewing project, Arlo’s new teeth, that gorgeous aroma, that bird in the sky, and I’ll sit down, for a minute.
I will link my Instagram friend’s blog post*, when she publishes it, here. I’m very intrigued to see what she has on her list, and I’m sure you are now too?
*Edit: You can find Ines’ blog post here. She talks about ‘Tips on Slow Living from the Instagram Community’. I love this post and her amazing photography. It’s definitely worth checking out.
I’d really love to know if you are an advocate for slow living and how you go about it.