This thing called slow living

A little while back, Julia from Humphrey & Grace, wrote a post entitled 'This thing called slow living', which as with all Julia's posts, I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  Afterward we got chatting and thought it might be interesting to find out what slow living means to other people too.  Julia then went on to ask Sara from Me & Orla, who shared her thoughts on the subject here.  So I thought it was about time that I shared mine.

I've always needed a bit of slow in my life, it is a yearning from deep within, almost an addiction, and without it, I can get quite stressed.  Usually that time, is 15 minutes or more if I'm lucky, grabbed during Dottie's nap, ideally in the garden, just sitting in a chair, and doing absolutely nothing, eyes closed, peace and quiet.  I sometimes wonder where that need comes from, maybe because I am an eldest child, I don't suppose I will ever know entirely.

But these days, it is more than a yearning, it is necessary for my well being.  I am finding I need it more and more; to live slowly.  This readily mocked slow living movement is for good or bad, how I want to live, and not just because as Sara mentioned, the many photogenic opportunities, but because I think it is the healthiest way to live your life.  Saying that, the whole point of this post is to talk about what slow living means to me, so what I write here, might not be your idea of slow living, but it is my thoughts and how I like to live slowly.

A lot has changed for me this year, I think that is probably a subject for another post, but because of necessity I have changed the way I live my life.  I am making time to cook properly again, I don't mean I was eating out of a packet before, I was just cooking food that was quick, but now I am making sure I cook well, and when I can, I am cooking slowly.  In the evenings, music on, just enjoying the whole process.  Is that slow living?  I don't know about others, but it is for me.

I barely watch TV anymore, ok, I'm not saying that I completely avoid the black box on the wall totally. But, I won't sit there watching mundane rubbish just for the sake of it.  These days, it just feels like a waste of precious time.  Time that can be spent cooking, or making, or just looking through a book for a little bit of inspiration.

Another thing that I am enjoying lately, is fussing over the new plants in my garden, we have a north-facing small City garden, where nothing much usually takes, but right now I have a rose that I recently planted that actually seems to be doing ok so far.  So every day I'm out there tending it, dead heading, checking for blight, making sure it has enough water, my mind thinking only of the little green shoots I can see sprouting.

I start and end every day with some stretches, not sure if that counts as slow living, but it is time for just me, when I can't do anything else, apart from breathe and stretch.

There is still one thing I plan to do and haven't quite managed to make part of my day yet, and that is some proper meditation, but I will, I've come this far.

So, I guess what I am trying to say, is that to me, slow living, is about what you would expect; slowing down, a little bit less tech, taking time to cook and eat well, starting and ending the day quietly, enjoying the moment and being mindful.  Slow living isn't some new fad, it has always been around, it just now has a name, as opposed to just 'stopping to smell the roses' as they used to say.

It's funny, lately I have been struggling a bit with where we live, I really notice the noise; the noise of our neighbours, the students walking down the street after a night out, the recycling being collected.  I wonder how much of that awareness, comes from slowing down, and that yearning becoming more than just a desire, I'm almost tempted to move out of the city.  Almost, but not quite, I guess I still need some things that are fast in my life.

I hope you manage to find a bit of time to slow down this week.

Emma x