Making progress, slowly

So my first weekend of try to be slow went a little like this. How can I be slow all weekend? What are all the slow things I should be doing? Oh I know, I’ll do all my housework on Friday night so I can relax for the rest of the weekend. Hey, let’s cook a million things from scratch rather than buying them fro the supermarket-that’s slow. Let’s go to the beach for the afternoon, great. Let’s have friends over for brunch, even better. Hold on, what? I’m exhausted, I’ve been flat out all weekend. Somewhere between the homemade custard, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and getting stuff done to make free time, I lost my way. I became a slow try hard.

So what did I learn? Being slow doesn’t mean doing everything slow. It means putting a bit more slow into your life, not being obsessed with it.

So I toned it down a bit. I invited the CWA ladies over on Saturday for handcraft and a cuppa, and went for a stroll at the beach and a play at the park. I had a sneaky nap yesterday and did no housework at all. Now I’m sitting here in my trackies while my baby girl is having a snooze and I’m catching up on the latest episode of MKR (recorded, naturally, because sometimes I can only dream of having enough time to sit and watch a TV show). And to indulge in all this slowness, I’ve had to make sacrifices. The floors are a bit messy, I haven’t meal prepped for the week ahead and my hair isn’t blowdried. But I’m coming to terms with it, and I am feeling pretty damn good. Maybe I’m starting to get the balance right.

One of my great loves, which I have been reacquainting myself with, is reading. I do read books, but at the moment I’m loving a couple of new magazines I’ve stumbled across. Lunch Lady has heaps of cool parenting ideas and recipes and Breathe is all about health, mindfullness and wellbeing. I enjoy reading a couple of articles as I wind down in the evening. For me, reading is like a constant little reminder to live more slowly. I like the way reading brings new ideas and inspiration, and at other times offers a different perspective on things. I think it’s good for the mind and soul.

Now, I want to talk about slow cookers (love, love, love). I was given a slow cooker when I moved out of home, and I never used it much-until now. Could there be anything better or more comforting than meat falling off the bone and tender vegetables bubbling away in a delicious sauce? What makes this cooking method even more appealing to me is that slow cooker recipies usually suit the cheaper cuts of meat (promoting the head to tail eating ethos), require little prep time, and fill my home with wonderful aromas as I get on with other things. But wait, there’s more. Slow cooker dishes lend themselves really well to freezing. So I can cook now and eat later-winning! I have found some wonderful recipes in the Complete Slow Cooker by Sally Wise. So far I have tried (and loved) Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon Couscous (pictured, kitchen note: I amplified the lemon in the couscous by adding juice) and Corned Beef. Next I want to try Cabbage Rolls, and Moroccan Lamb. Yum!

In the garden, the herbs are becoming well established. The basil is really taking off, and I read somewhere that I should nip off the flower heads and stems before they become woody in order to keep the leaves young and tasty. The herbs are so abundant, I am going to harvest some to take into work tomorrow, so my work mates can enjoy them too.

I’m trying to spend some more time doing crafts. Presently I am learning how to do hand embroidery. My teacher is Shirley from the CWA and gosh she is patient with me. Yesterday she was showing me a new stitch and damn it’s hard! The older I get the more I realise how I (and many like me) expect instant gratification. I often think I can try a new thing and do it perfectly from the get go. No. Good things require dedication, practice, failing and learning. I’m really glad I’m challanging myself to learn this new skill, no matter how difficult. I’m working on some secret projects that I will be able to share with you next time.

Here’s some ideas on how you can take it slow this week, without over doing it.

  • Take yourself out to breakfast.
  • Find a new book or magazine to read.
  • Enjoy a long, hot bath.
  • Organise a slow cooker meal for Sunday.

For all those following along at home, how have you been going in your own pursuit of slow? Did you learn anything you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you. Just click comment. Also, you can subscribe to our blog as well, so you will get emails when we post. A good idea if you’re like me and like having content delivered straight to you inbox.

Until next time,

Emily X