General ramblings

Going Slow

September 29, 2015

Just lately, my thoughts keep returning to all things Slow.
Slow fashion, Slow food, Slow living, Slow blogging (yes, it is a ‘thing’!).
My suggestion of a Slow Christmas on the Facebook page got a very enthusiastic response.

The more I’ve been thinking about it, the more things I start to notice.
I’ve stumbled serendipitously across lots of slow living blogs, and this fabulous Slow Home podcast.

And then this post popped up in my Facebook feed, which featured this video:

The post, and it’s ‘To Don’t List” and the video bought tears to my eyes.

I am not a slow person by nature.
My head is constantly spinning with new ‘Amazing Ideas’ and I have a very short attention span. I give something my all, and then quickly tire of it and move on to the next shiny new idea.
I rush things as I am keen to get the end point, to see the finished article.
When I sew, I rush through each stage, eager to get to the next, and then eager to get it done, so I can wear it. Only to be disappointed at the end result, that isn’t quite as good it could be. Because I rushed.
I am constantly late, and rushing to get through a ‘to do’ list, and hurrying the kids along.
I am busy. I like to be busy. I like to make myself busy.

And after nearly 38 years, it is slowly dawning on me that there is another way.
I can slow down.
I can give myself permission to slow down.
To stop even, sometimes.

The ‘official’ Wikipedia definition of Slow Living is:

Slow Living means structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment. Similar to “voluntary simplicity” and “downshifting,” it emphasizes a less-is-more approach, focusing on the quality of your life. … Slow Living addresses the desire to lead a more balanced life and to pursue a more holistic sense of well-being in the fullest sense of the word.

I was talking to hubby about this night, and about the paradox that is me.
So much of what I do with this blog, and so much of what I learned during our year Buying Nothing New, is about being more conscious, and more deliberate about what we buy.  It’s about valuing (making do with) what you already have. It’s about sharing experiences together, rather than buying stuff for each other.
So in some respects, I’m there. I’m living a slow life, in terms of our consumerism. I am very deliberate about my purchases. I slow down and stop and think before buying. I often have to wait to find the thing I am looking for. That’s ‘slow consuming’.
And yet in so many other areas I am not conscious, I am not deliberate, I do not stop and think. I do not stop.
I so desperately want to be content, to be happy in my skin, to be grateful for all I have. To slow down and smell the roses.

Roses
I want to have time to write more, to (learn to) take better pictures, to read more, to learn more, to make more, to be more.
To be. To be present. To be consious, and in the moment. And deliberate.
And yet I am always rushing. Never stopping. Always striving for more, for bigger, for better. Bigger and better what I am not even sure, but I am striving for it!

I am not sure if it is possible to learn slowness.
Is it something that you just ‘are’?
Some people have an air of calm around them. And the things they do seem very deliberate, very measured.
Is this something that can be learned?
I don’t know.
But I know that I want to try.

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Helen Butt September 29, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I have no idea if you can truly change your nature. I wish that I could be more constructive in my use of time – eg read blogs rather than play pointless games on my phone. But do you really need to do less if you like the things you are already doing?

    • Reply Jen September 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Hi Helen
      I like most of the things I am doing, but in some ways I want to do more. More reading, more photography, and to be able to take more time doing the things I enjoy. To actually slow down enough to be really in the moment and appreciating those things when I am doing them, rather than having half an eye on what I am going to be next.

  • Reply Joelle Harris September 29, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I love the slow home podcast! I think I am naturally slow, I loved being at home with young children and watching snails and ladybirds! I also think it is possible to learn to be slow too. Having said that I love being busy too, I’m back at uni. and it’s all go, I just need the balance of time to be and think too.

    • Reply Jen September 30, 2015 at 10:18 am

      You always come across as very thoughtful and deliberate Joelle (in a great way!). As you say, I guess it comes down to balance..

  • Reply Rachelle Strauss September 29, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I totally hear you. I’m a 100mph gal, ideas keeping me awake at silly o’clock, giving everything 110%. And I’d SO love to be a slow down and smell the roses person, but I honestly feel I’m just not wired that way. I am on a mindfulness course, and I’m diligently studying every day, but in all honesty, when I’m doing my mindfulness practise or meditating, I’m not truly fully present… Sigh. When you find out the secret, do let me know! (Hmmm, so maybe that means I DON’T give 110% after all LOL!)

    • Reply Jen September 30, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Hi Rachelle!
      Your ideas are all so awesome, which is why they keep you awake 🙂
      So pleased to hear it’s not just me. I did a free trial of a mindfulness course, and I think it was useful, but I get the impression it’s something you have to do very day, and keep doing it, to really benefit. I am fully aware of the irony of saying “I don’t have time to slow down”…

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