The beauty of living… slowly

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

It’s been about six weeks since my family and I have been back in the U.S. There are blessings and sweet creature comforts we’re enjoying, to be sure (cheddar cheese, anyone?), but there’s one thing we always notice anytime we’re stateside.

We North Americans sure like to be busy.

There’s something about busyness that makes us feel productive, like a useful member of society. It’s nearly frowned upon to kick up your heels and spend time relaxing, especially with piles of work all around you.

It’s one major thing I love about living in the culture where we’ve been the past three years (and it’s common in most non-Westernized cultures) — relationships are more important than events.

Without fail, my husband and I struggle with the American busy lifestyle anytime we re-enter the culture here. It’s probably the one thing I miss the least about my passport culture—the ingrained belief that busyness equals value.

There is real beauty to taking life slowly. Sure, I’m a productive nut — I love checklists, getting lots of things done, and ending my day feeling like my energy was spent on something worthwhile. I don’t admire laziness. And it’s a lot of physical and emotional work to run a family and household, so very rarely do I enjoy the luxury of an afternoon with my feet propped up.

But we Westerners could really take heed to the many cultures worldwide that don’t rush around frantically, spending most of a day’s hours making sure a ton is accomplished.

There is a sweetness missed when we spend more time running errands than we do chatting with our neighbors, enjoying an impromptu coffee date with a friend, or watching our kids play at a park with newly-made “best friends.”

Here are a few ways we can all slow down today.


Photo by Kenna Takahashi

1. Instead of three Most Important Things on our list today, make it just one. Or none, even.

2. Forget the dishes in the sink, and say yes to our kids’ insistent request to play with them.

3. Call up a friend, and see if she’s up for bringing herself and her kids over to hang out for the afternoon.

4. Drag a chair out onto your front porch, watch your kids play in the yard, and see if you can strike up a conversation with a neighbor. Who knows, you may make a new friend.

5. Do something easy for dinner tonight — sandwiches or salad will work just fine. If it’s nice outside, make dinner a picnic.

chatting on the phone
Photo by Daniel Lobo

6. Call an old friend, just to say hi.

7. Turn up the music and dance in your living room with your children. My kids love this, and it takes 15 minutes.

8. Get out the crafts and work on a project that’s been on your list forever.

9. Go on a leisurely walk. Have no agenda.

10. Have an afternoon movie special with your kids after their naps or quiet times. Popcorn is optional but definitely a fun bonus.

11. Treat your kids to an unscheduled drive to a favorite local spot, such as a park, a museum, or a friend’s house.


Photo by Guilio Bernardi

12. Read a novel.

13. Do what you’d normally do with your kids—read books, sculpt play-doh, help with homework—but do it outside on a blanket.

Don’t stress too much about getting a lot done everyday. It’s something I have to remind myself near daily, but I’ve truly seen the value of a slow lifestyle from the different non-Western cultures where I’ve lived.

We sure like to be productive. But that’s not the only important thing in life.

How are you going to enjoy today? What are some other ways you can take life a bit more slowly?

Join the Conversation

Comments

  1. I agree! I have spent some time away from our country and know excatly what you are referring too. For example, many businesses outside our country close on Sunday; it is rare to find that here. It makes one stop to think, including myself =)
    .-= Barb´s last blog ..Son’s Room Complete! =-.

  2. This post took me back to Mandi’s post from a couple of weeks ago – task-focussed vs. people-focussed personalities. I’m sure the people-focussed personalities are feeling quite relaxed about this post. The task-focussed among us (me, for example) are thinking “what? leave the dishes in the sink AND then have people over – no way!!!” Shows how much I needed this. Thanks.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Brilliant!!! =-.

  3. This is exactly what we talked about last night in my Bible study. There are so many people who are rushing around and missing out on life. Our kids are not playing any organized sports this season. They asked if we could have Saturdays to ourselves to stay in our pjs! We loved the idea and honored this request. When I discuss this with friends they all say, “Wow! Good for you guys. I wish we could do that.” I told them that they could. Instead of teaching our children to fill every second of their lives with stuff and activities, we are trying to give them space to breathe. They are enjoying Saturdays and we are too!

  4. I like to think of relaxing as investing time into myself. Not only am I feeling better, but everyone else around me benefits too because I feel so good!
    .-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..Costco’s Return Policy Rocks =-.

  5. Tsh, thanks for this post. I really needed to hear it today.

    Somehow over the past several months we have suddenly gotten very “scheduled,” with lots of activities to rush around to, in the afternoon hours. It feels wrong, because the kids are not enjoying these supposedly fun activities – they’re just balking at the craziness of rushing here and there all the time. We need to back out of some of these things and live more slowly again.

    How are we going to enjoy today? We’re having friends over to dinner tonight… I’m going to try to be low-key about it, and just enjoy the time, rather than feeling pressure to get the house looking neat as a pin or to fix a complicated dinner.

  6. Thank you, Tsh. A great reminder for today. I am going on a class field trip with Dacey’s school to the circus, and I haven’t had the best attitude. I don’t *like* circuses and there is a TON of stuff that needs to be done around the house. The girls, however, are so excited. I need to remember they aren’t going to remember days around the house when Mom did spring cleaning; they are going to remember fun excursions.

    I want to take this thought into the weekend. Take it slow . . .

  7. Thanks for this lovely reminder, Tsh. My husband (from the UK) says the same thing about living in the US.

    And I have been wanting to declutter the whole house (um, not just a drawer!) but. I. just. can’t. do that and take care of three children and write for two blogs and there comes a place where you must embrace and let go.
    .-= Simple Homeschool ~ Jamie´s last blog ..Educational Goals for the Whole Child =-.

  8. Earlier this week, a good friend called. She wanted to come over the next morning and work on a project we’ve both been excited to do together. I glanced at the calendar. The morning looked free, but it was our ONLY free morning of the week. After a moment of thought, I said “We have plans for tomorrow. Sorry, how about next week?” I DID have plans – I planned to have a quiet morning at home with the kids. I’m finally starting to realize that its ok to put myself and my children on just as high a priority as our fun friends and activities.
    .-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Notes on a 3-year-old Jed =-.

  9. I so needed this message today-thank you! My kids are just entering that really busy season of sports/lessons/activities. My heart is telling me not to jump on the “crazy bus” with everyone else to join, join, join, but my head is saying if you are a good parent your kids need to be able to explore and experience a lot. I know myself, I will go crazy and not be a good mom or wife if all I am is an activities director or taxi service. Thanks for helping validate those feelings that I feel so deeply.

  10. Great article and suggestions. I am one who does tend to judge my day by how much I have accomplished and many of the the things on your list don’t count as accomplishments – they should, as you mention they are very important. Thank you for the reminder. I am going to bake cookies with my kids today and have dinner with a neighbor!
    .-= Catherine B´s last blog ..Time out Thursday =-.

  11. I totally agree with you! One can start to feel guilty about not cramming every waking moment with “stuff to do”. This is an EXCELLENT post and a much needed reminder to enjoy life!! Thanks!
    .-= Catie´s last blog ..Prego Pics!! =-.

  12. Now that is definitely something to put on a to do list, “stop and smell the roses”
    ;D
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Is nothing sacred? =-.

  13. Great reminder! The faster life tries to make me go, the slower I want to be …

    The sun is shining here and if I’ve learned anything about Spring in Indiana it is that I had better get outside and enjoy it while it is here (because tomorrow it may rain … or snow!) So we’re outdoors today … and the laptop, telephone, and obligations are staying inside :-)

    Have a wonderful, sloooooooow, weekend!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Let’s Talk: Rhythm and Routines When Life Changes – What Works for You? =-.

  14. The culture where we live is so like this! (In Southern California) We’ve noticed the difference just visiting other states. I really have to be intentional about staying home and enjoying our life or we get caught up in it really easily. I shoot for four out of seven evenings at home each week :)
    .-= Angela @ Homegrown Mom´s last blog ..Resurrection Eggs =-.

  15. I working on saying “no” more often to the outside world and “yes” to my kids more. I think today would be a great day to enjoy a nice walk and play at the park.

  16. I totally agree. I lived in Ecuador for a while and the pace of life was so much slower where I was up in the mountains. We took naps during the day and enjoyed the beauty around us. When I came home the states just seemed so big and moving so fast around me. Now that I have kids I try to slow down and enjoy every moment. I try to tell myself we don’t have to be doing something every minute of the day. Just enjoying each others company is enough.
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Our Pace =-.

  17. This is exactly what my family is trying to move towards. In my blog you can read about what we used to be and what we are trying to become. We’ve actually gone from moving away from lots of social activity and quiting outside jobs to realizing that we need to actually just keep to ourselves a little more and only socialize a little. Time together with the family is what we are cherishing most.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..A Strange Visitor On a Typical Afternoon =-.

  18. YES! Precisely why we started Slow Family Living. To help families find ways to slow down, connect and truly enjoy family life. It has been a pleasure for me to give myself (and my husband and four kids) permission to take things more slowly. To schedule family time just like we schedule anything else. And to allow ourselves more pleasure in the BEING instead of the always DOING. Check out our Slow Family workbook which provides step by step ways for finding your own slow.

    Thanks for this post. Bernadette, Austin, TX

  19. I absolutely love what you had to say and agree with you 100%. I have been wrestling with this a lot lately. I say I have a “schedule addiction.” I feel like I am addicted to having my plate full to the max. I love your simple ways of slowing down. Quality. Thanks so much for the tips. I feel refreshed and renewed. I know it is a choice. I can choose to live my days like a crazy woman or like a woman who wants to savor the moments.
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..copycat: plate o’succulents =-.

  20. such a great reminder, so often I feel like I’m rushing…rushing to get the kids to school, rushing to get dinner on the table, rushing through a store, telling the kids I’ll play AFTER I finish cleaning.

    Yes, sometimes you have to rush and sometimes you have to finish your work before play, but sometimes you don’t. I need to remember to stop more often.
    .-= Lindsey@ Mama Sews´s last blog ..Meal Planning =-.

  21. Hi Tsh, welcome back to the states. It’s been almost 3 years since we moved back, and I still feel homesick for the lifestyle we had overseas. Even with homeschooling and limiting our activities, just living in the Washington DC area adds a level of crazy to everything. If it rains, plan on your trip to the store taking twice as long. If it’s a beautiful day to go see kites on the Mall, plan on parking really far away or making a day of it just to ride the metro. I definitely feel the stress, and realized as I read your article that I need to be more conscious of it. Meaning I have to recognize that the stress I feel might just be the buzz of stress from everyone else! Will have to figure out a way to diffuse that. I’m sure my kids pick up on it too, at least my older one who is more like me in temperment. Thanks for another thought-provoking article!

  22. In an attempt to use my blog more often and share the great blogs I read with others, I have just given you a beatiful blogger award on my blog http://adventuresofthejourney.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-was-just-given-my-very-first-blog.html Its just a bit of fun. Thanks for the blogging. I enjoy reading.

  23. I often think of how to slow down. When I look at the list of all the things I feel like I must/should get done, it still seems enormous and is very hard to pare down. Yet, I can see the benefits of slowing down – stronger relationships, calm, etc. I wonder how many of the things I think must get done are really unimportant and have just been fed to me by our culture. I can’t figure it out!

  24. Thank you for this today! I needed it. Very beautifully said. Have a nice slow weekend!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..…and breathe… =-.

  25. avatar
    Jen Hasseld says:

    Ahead of the curve! We went to the library this morning, just to play (no books were due) and then, instead of fixing lunch, trying to get the kids to nap and attacking my to-do list, we spent an hour at Chick-Fil-A. I let my daughter slide, my son (10 months) and I had “quality time” together, and we ended with ice cream. I feel great!!

  26. You are so right and it’s so easy to forget it. I realy like the post, thank you for the great ideas. Have a great slow weekend.
    .-= Reut´s last blog ..Earth Hour is almost here =-.

  27. I love this post… I have been focusing on living simply and mindfully and since I come from a culture that is relatively laidback and has roots in yoga and meditation, it has been quite easy to be inspired and encouraged.
    Taking things slow doesn’t mean being lazy. Rather it means savoring the flavors that the dish of life has and relishing the colors, the fragrance and the effort that goes into preparing it:-)
    My favorite ways to take it slow are having impromptu outings, unplanned cake-baking days with my toddler and simply curling up with a good read and putting chores out of my mind:-)
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Book Review: Of Wooing, Woes and Wanderings by Amitabha Chatterjee =-.

  28. Tsh, I’m a boomer. They told us we could have it all and do it all and I believed them. I was divorced in my early 30s and worked and raised two children by myself. It was so hard but I thought it would get better because society said everything was possible. I now realize it was as hard as I thought. I couldn’t do it all or have it all. Children, family, friends, home… then work. Let’s get our pecking order straight. Your children grow up and are gone. They days to play with them and enjoy interaction are limited (as in teenagers don’t have time to talk to you anymore). Slow down. Follow Tsh’s suggestions above. When you’re 60 like me, that is what you talk about. The good memories.
    .-= Barbara@BabyBloggingBoomer´s last blog ..Scrubbing Brushes =-.

  29. avatar
    Alejandra says:

    The best reward of taking some time off from the agenda is the stress free moment you enjoy. For me the best is a talk on the terrace with my husband with something cold to drink and just the garden to look at, a moment when we talk about anything but work (we work together) and enjoy nature, the weather, music and each other’s company

  30. I have recently made a discovery about hospitality…. I have a mental list as long as forever and days can go past without stepping out the door and enjoying the sunshine. But if we have visitors over I tend to sit and relax… I may do my chores a whole lot quicker to be ready for guests (why do I drag through them normally!!!) but then I tend to sit – I never say: “I must just clean out a drawer, or excuse me while I clean the toilet…” Recently a friend came over and we sat peacefully all morning in the sunshine mending – bizarre – I haven’t been near the mending bag for months – all little jobs a button here and stitch there… I would never think to sit outdoors and tackle it normally. I was so encouraged – a task done and relaxing… I had a bag of apples for snacks and when any short person asked for food I just passed them an apple!!! Slow days are good indeed!!!

    • I feel relaxed just thinking about sitting outside mending! One of my favourite days was spending time with friends untangling and winding balls of wool. It was an unplanned thing that kind of happened when the men got home from somewhere but we all ended up doing it together and just talked and laughed while we did it. One of my most favourite afternoons ever.
      .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Spoonflower =-.

  31. I so needed to read this post. This is a constant struggle of mine. I have such a hard time letting myself just stop and ENJOY life, without feeling the need to do something uber productive every moment of every day.

    My husband has actually been leading us in this area more lately. We’ve realized that his health problems are very related to his stress levels and overworking himself, which we both tend to do. Since he wants to get and stay healthy, he has been conscientious lately to finish up early if he worked a long day the day before, or to take a slower morning to enjoy some family time with us, or to purposefully put on a movie in the evening so that he (and I) aren’t tempted to sit down in the office and start working.

    I’m also making it a goal to spend 15 min. outside with my kids each day. Just to get outside and play, putter around in the garden, watch my kids run around and have a blast is such a good thing for me and for them. I’m learning… little by little. :) I’m hoping to have many slower days this spring and summer!
    .-= Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home´s last blog ..29 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Home (and Save Money While You’re At It) =-.

  32. Thanks for the timely reminder!

    I was writing out my daily “to do ” list today and was only half way through it , and my husband looked over my shoulder while I was writing it and said ” isn’t that enough for today!”

  33. What you say is oh so true! I know I can get wrapped up in all those “things” that need to be done, things that I place importance on that don’t really matter when it comes right down to it. I went to Holland about 6 years ago and traveled to some bed and breakfasts in the northern country. We met some great people and had such a laid back and relaxing time. Wish I could train myself to do the same even when I’m not on a vacation!
    .-= Tina @ Ride On Toys´s last blog ..Wow – The Rolling Coaster Ride On Car! =-.

  34. This is a great post to read for me right now… a friend invited me over for lunch and the kids ended up spending the whole afternoon running around in her back yard playing, they didn’t want to leave. I am behind on laundry and housecleaning so I could have been at home being productive, but my kids were having so much fun. In the end I’m glad we stayed.
    (But I still need to do laundry, lol!)

  35. Great ideas! One thing I would add…when having to check something off your to do list, do it in style. I realized that the kids were starting to comment on how slow the car in front of me was driving and that they’d heard it from me. So, now we make it a game of guessing where the car is going and creating a whole story about the situation rather than getting annoyed that it might take an extra minute or two to get home. Also, I do things I need to do with my kids. They’re still young enough to want to be with me even if that means helping empty the dish washer, folding clothes, or even working out! My 4 year old is the best trainer!

  36. Perfect timing. Thank you for all the wonderful tips. Sometimes you need someone else to tell its okay. There are more important things than the laundry and the dishes. Finding a moment to appreciate and breath is so important. http://www.hamptonroadsmommies.com

  37. I loved all the comments. Truth be told my husband is so much better at slowing down than I am. I am trying so hard to keep life simple – so that I can focus on other things. I keep a simple schedules, simple cooking, simple decorating ….. simple everything. Its helped but its also hard to keep focused on it. We have big goals and it seems society tells you to give everything up to hit the big goals.

  38. So funny because I have gotten tired of the slow weekends and am looking forward to when our Soccer Spring League Soccer games start so we have some things to do on Saturdays…

  39. Loved reading your post on incourage. We are trying to sell our house to afford our international adoption and you hit my heart totally. Thanks!
    Blessings

  40. Love your article and the one over at Incourage, as well.

  41. Wonderful write up for the things we can do to slow down. Over here in my place, busyness seems to be the way too as a lot of people are working long hours and wanting to get things done. Just over this week, I have read two posts in two separate blogs about life being made up of the little moments and not about getting a lot of things done in a short time. At the end of our life, we won’t remember the laundries we have done, or the hours we put at work … but we will remember the moments where we are spending time with our loved ones and friends.
    .-= BK´s last blog ..Are We Trying to Fix Our Partner’s Problem? =-.

  42. Needed this one. ;) Thanks. Sorry I missed you while you were in Austin.
    .-= sprittibee´s last blog ..The Party Today, and I Haven’t Slept Yet… 2AM Ramblings… =-.

  43. Thank you for this great and much needed reminder!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Our little luca bees =-.

  44. We are usually super busy around here but today we just relaxed around the house, we stayed in PJs and just did whatever we wanted even if it was nothing at all.
    .-= LaToya´s last blog .. =-.

  45. I don’t have a problem living slowly – and I truly love it. My husband, however, even though not born-American, is a master of constantly finding new projects to do, coming up with problems – just so we can look for solutions, and generally likes a fast paced lifestyle and “getting things done” – but then he feels tired and stressed out. I wish I could teach him to slow down a little.
    .-= Joanna @ Menstrual Period Cup´s last blog ..A Menstrual Cup or Period Cup….What is THAT? Plus 9 benefits of Using Menstrual Cups =-.

  46. It took me very long to learn to slow down and not to feel guilty. It’s only after a suffered a total burnout that I was able to prioritize.
    .-= Yasmine´s last blog ..The Love Story About Two Dirty Socks =-.

  47. I, too, live in a different country and notice the fast paced nature of western culture whenever I visit home. Aside from some of the creature comforts (oh, yes, the cheddar cheese!!) we miss, the busyness and overstimulation of western culture are the things I miss the least! I just might take the kids for an impromptu walk along the rambla this very afternoon….
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Spoonflower =-.

  48. We live simply with our child because it is all we know. We had our daughter in Austria and since she is our first, I don’t know any other way. Sometimes I think that maybe I don’t do enough because I compare our daily life to those of friends back home, but this post makes me feel good about what we do, or don’t do I guess. Thanks for the perspective!

  49. Slowing down sometimes is really a necessity. With all the busy stuff we are doing everyday and all the tech gadgets we have that makes things seems faster. Sometimes its good to go back from the basics and live a simple life. Hmmm.. just for a day, atleast.
    .-= mywebfeed´s last blog ..Power of Search Engines – Links Submission =-.

  50. Being a writer, I’m most excited about number 12. I think everyone should read. There’s a quote in one of my favorite movies, Vanilla Sky, when the Tom Cruise character, David Ames, says, “People will read again.” And, surprisingly enough, I think with the push of technology, that’s actually happening. The Kindle and the iPad are making it so easy, and relaxing to once again, pick up a novel and start reading for relaxation.

  51. You are so right about the busy western lifestyle. Compared to other cultures we race through life without slowing down enough to savor the good things. I love your list of suggestions for ‘taking the time.’ Bravo!

  52. Well said, Tsh… I’ve often found that slowing down and taking a break leaves me in a much more productive state of mind. By stepping away from the things that keep me busy every now and then, I end up accomplishing more with less effort–a win/win situation.

  53. Well, I can’t resist adding one more comment to say what a great reminder this is that being busy does not make us more valuable. So often I feel GUILTY when I’m not PRODUCTIVE, so my Mediterranean friends and neighbors are great models for me. I agree that seeing a different life model is one of the blessings of living overseas.

    Thanks.

  54. I am blown away by how busy some people stay. I feel so bad for my niece and nephew. They are involved in so many activities and over booked that it affects my nephews ability to sleep. My husband and I rarely have plans on the weekends, other than to go to church. One of us will often go the grocery store, but other than that, we usually just hang out at home with our toddler and go to the park if the weather is nice. That being said, I do have a problem with feeling like I should always be doing something productive. If I don’t have a list of things I’ve accomplished by the time my daughters morning nap is over, I feel as if the day has been a waste.

  55. Yes, please! I too get really fed up with our “always be doing something even if you could benefit more from doing nothing” culture. Thanks for the reminder that it is cultural; it is not necessarily human nature to run ourselves so ragged.

  56. I just love this! I think I’ll pick a day a week where I’ll write “Have No Agenda!” at the top of my to-do list.

    Yup, I’ve decided I’ll do exactly that.

  57. LOVE this post! I started several years ago making sure that at least once a day I stopped what I was doing, made contact with my daughter (now I have 2 more kids) and said out loud..’this is the best moment of my life’. Cool thing is, I remember nearly all those moments and it totally pulls me into THE MOMENT. So important, and so often missing for people!

  58. This post is so timely for me. I am trying to carve out my downtime for my husband and our baby. We just moved a few months ago and are getting ready to move again! When I taking it slow, I worry about the boxes to pack or rearranging furniture. In the end, does it really matter? I think for my sanity (and certainly my husband’s!) taking the busy work out of our days will ultimately result in a happier, more productive family.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  59. Love these ideas! I need to learn to slow down a bit more. I pack my days so full of stuff I ‘need’ to do and don’t take time to do the things I truly do need to do.

  60. My husband and I used to live in Hawaii and we loved how relaxed it was. We were always hanging out with our friends or at the beach. I used to walk downstairs everyday and hang out with a neighbor, unannounced. Now that we are stateside it seems almost impossible to coordinate schedules to even met up with friends.
    I feel like we are pretty good at taking it slow. I always try to relax when the kids are down for a nap and we never plan anything on the weekends. I’m glad my husband and I are on the same page.

  61. Slower pace of life is the single most thing I am thankful for living overseas. I LOVE the pace of life here in Indonesia and I am so thankful to be able to experience the focus on people rather than time.
    Thanks for the great tips you offered! I know that when we come back to the Western world one day it’s going to be difficult to keep life slow!
    Enjoy your Labor Day!!
    Blessings.

  62. how am I slowing down today?

    ‘letting’ husband take the kids to see The Zookeeper without me! ;)

  63. grill!!!

  64. Thanks Tish! I totally needed that these last couple days! I went back to work after a 14 month maternity leave, and have been trying to figure this new routine out, while my kids are really missing me, and like it hectic. I really needed the reminder that family is first.

  65. I struggle so badly with this “get it done” mentality!! And then I beat myself up for preferring work to playing with my little boys. I have to be so super intentional about spending time with them and also about making our everyday activities extraordinary and joy-filled. I have to say that this part of parenting definitely doesn’t come as naturally to me as I assumed it would!!

  66. This is exactly how I like to live! I am trying to find ways to slow down, even though our lives are very hectic. Thanks for the reminder!

  67. Great post. I’ve found it hard to make friends because all the ladies I run into are just so busy. It’s hard to fit a quality relationship into the thirty minutes between dance class and baseball practice!

  68. This is what makes me say that while I struggle with my fibromyalgia (chronic pain and fatigue), I am sooo grateful for what it has taught me! I’ve had to really evaluate and identify what gives life to me and what doesn’t, and prioritize so I can get through my days and have some level of contentment and happiness.

    I think that before I got sick, I wanted desperately to slow down but had no idea how to get out of the cycle I was in with work, school, debt, etc. I am so thankful for a (forced!) chance to slow down and discover life again! Also looking for the day when this illness will be behind me! :-)

  69. As I get ready to head to work this morning, this is a great reminder that it doesn’t all need to get done today. Lingering at the breakfast table or taking a moment to chat with a student may take away from productivity, but might make the day so much more meaningful. Great post!

  70. it’s really important to slow down when it’s needed. but: some of my friends slow down always too much:) they don’t need any ideas to slow down. maybe some hype…

  71. avatar
    Alison O'Brien says:

    I totally agree. This is how my family has some downtime…

    http://attheendofthedrive.blogspot.com/search/label/simplify

    Have a great day!
    Alison

  72. I love this! I was praying about my priorities one day and the Lord showed me He only gave Adam & Eve a few: hang out with Him for a while every day, play with the kids, and take care of the garden!

  73. This post is right up my ally! I think Slow living and simplicity are closely connected. You are so right when you say that living Slow is about focusing more on relationships than events. It’s not just relationship with other people, but also with those things that matter to a good life — like God, food, nature, etc.

    I write about Slow living (among other things) on my blog, SlowMama.com, which I launched in the spring because I think so many of us hunger for this today. Thanks for addressing it!

  74. I swear sometimes I run around like a chicken with my head cut off and then other times I am a big ole couch potato… I need to find a happy medium…

  75. Well, I can’t resist adding one more comment to say what a great reminder this is that being busy does not make us more valuable. So often I feel GUILTY when I’m not PRODUCTIVE, so my Mediterranean friends and neighbors are great models for me. I agree that seeing a different life model is one of the blessings of living overseas.
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