The Pursuit of Slow

I haven’t posted lately – I’m sorry. I had all the best intentions and then boom, life got in the way. Well, I am happy to say, I’m back.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about slowing down. You know, being more present, living for the moment, finding joy in the ordinary and simply enjoying the ‘good’ things in life.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race. There’s so much pressure to live a ‘successful’ life, with a focus on being financially stable and having a proper career. I am still not sure if that pressure comes from society, or within (maybe a bit of both), but lately, I haven’t been having much fun. And it’s wearing me down.

Suddenly, at 27, I find myself questioning my direction in life. I think the trigger for this shift in my thinking was becoming a mother. As a stay at home mum for 12 months, I had so much time to think and think and think. You know, all those big questions. Am I happy? What do I want to do with my life? Should I change my loungeroom design?

I think our data-driven, fast-paced lives with cutting edge technology at our fingers tips 24/7 is actually doing us as much harm as it is good. Sure it makes life easier in some ways, but at the same time, in a world of social media and virtual connectedness, I have never felt lonelier. For me, and many like me, the hi-gloss plastic packaging that surrounds our lives has lost its shine, and we are in the pursuit of slow.

Slow like using the crockpot on Sundays, learning how to do embroidery by hand, and maybe getting some chooks. Getting back in touch with the community (the one that actually breathes the same air as I do). Slowing down the pace of life and doing more with less. Being more responsible – for myself, my children and my footprint.

It all sounds very trendy, but how can I actually slow down, while at the same time keep up in this modern world? Sure, the idea of turning into barefoot farmers is an appealing one, but I do like my luxuries from time to time (hello pedicures), and I want to be able to retire and travel – and that takes money.

So I’m going to have to figure it out as I go and find my version of slow. We are going to start with a realistic goal for the future. I used to think I wanted to be filthy rich, but as an adult, I have long realised that a) it’s not all that realistic and b) not really important. Really, we just need enough money to live comfortably and for us that includes being able to travel, own our dream acreage property and homestead, have a boat and our own business (whatever that may be).

For the next three years, we are going to focus on consolidating and reducing our debt including our home loan (strategies inspired by this book). Then we are going to sell up and take our little family on a once in a lifetime trip around Australia in a caravan – something we’ve always wanted to do. Even though we won’t be all that well do to by this stage, we want to take the opportunity to do it before our children start school. Children you say? Yes, even though every second day I swear I will never have another child (including two nights ago when Elsie was up at 2 am with croup), I still yearn to bring another little snuggle bunny into this world (maybe I feel like I will be less of a disaster this time and it’s a chance to redeem myself as an excellent mother of babies, I don’t know).

In the meantime, I am going to find my slow by writing more (hence my little post here), and reading lots (currently loving Like a Queen by Constance Hall). I am going to spend more time in my garden. I am going to face my fears and go out with my one-year-old for more walks and coffees at the beach (still not convinced this is an entirely good idea). I am going to sew more – starting with an Easter dress for my little darling. And cook! Oh, all the lovely things I will make (check out my latest kitchen crush). And all this at the same time as fronting up to my full-time job, and a husband who works out of town. Wish me luck!

Oh and one more thing – I can’t wait till this new book, The Little Book of Slow, arrives at my local library. Surely it will give me lots of lovely ideas.

To keep myself accountable I am going to blog about my slowness here. So if you’re feeling a bit the same, maybe you can follow along, try some of my ideas and also comment and inspire me too.

With love,

Emily Xx

Image note: To me, this cake represents slow. I picked fresh pansies from my garden to put on top. It was delicious.