"Ok then, smarty pants, define Slow Living.."

My life is not Slow. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I wish it was slow. In an ideal world, I would be a hermit, a recluse, living in a mud hut in the bush with just myself and my loved ones. The outside world wouldn't enter into my fantasy. But for this moment in time it does. My life revolves around my family. I feed, clothe and (sporadically) clean. My days are spent doing these things, mostly washing and cooking and many others things, and in the rare glimpses of free time, half an hour here, 15 minutes there, I think about my projects and what makes ME happy. After school hours are taken up with transporting. Netball. Cub scouts. The little one's pre cub/scouts group. Swimming lessons. Dropping them off and picking them up from plays at friends houses. It's crazy. It's busy. Not slow, not how I would like it to be. I am a slow liver in a busy world. What can I do?

I think I define having a slow life and 'slow living' as seperate things. A slow life means to me that I would have all the time in the world to do things at my leisure, not be required to BE anywhere, anytime. To be an eternal potterer.

Slow living for me takes on a slightly different meaning. It is about taking steps to get to that ideal place. An attitude, a state of mind. A journey even. What can one expect along the way?

For me it starts at home. Nurturing it. It's where I love to be, so it makes sense to start here. Grow a few vegies in the back yard to keep from feeding my loved ones the chemically laden varieties available from the shop. Cutting back on mass marketed products, learning instead to make better and healthier versions of these at home. Looking out for the environment. Using a clothes line instead of a dryer. Saving water. Many people I know (including me!) often go without a shower preferring to use the water instead on their vegie patch. Buying meat locally, that has led a good stress-free life. Recycling. Going to the salvage yard instead of the hardware shop when looking for building materials. (I am a 'tip rat' in a BIG way, more on this in the future). Making ethical decisions when it comes to purchasing. Reviving the old ways that worked for generations. Being in touch with nature. Supporting local suppliers. Bartering. The list is endless.

Some may call this green living, and yes, I agree with that. I also think that living this way with certain values and goals for a simpler existance, equates to slow living. We all have choices as to how we spend our time. I choose not to do too many things outside of the home. PFA's and committees? Nope, you won't find me there. Nore do I pay someone to exercise at a gym, I have a perfectly good garden for that. I choose to live my life slower than others, but at the moment it's not as slow as I'd like. To be honest I don't know how working parents juggle the demands of a job and family without burning out.


I also tend to shelter myself from the outside world, rarely see the news and only read the local newspaper. I like living this way, I don't need all the noise of the media bombarding my senses everyday, although often I am out of the loop about current world matters. I didn't know about chocolate slavery. (Yes, really!). You could say I live under a rock. Or is it just a side-effect of striving for (my version of) a slower life?


An old ladder found at the tip shop makes a perfect pumpkin support

This is how I live. Maybe you do the same. Maybe you live differently. It doesn't matter. We all do what works for us and if it doesn't work, we take steps to change it. This here blog of mine is my account of the changes I am making. The journey, remember?

I have come to realise that my life is still going to be somewhat busy while I am working towards a slower state of being. Reality gets in the way, it always does - especially with kids, but I try to work around it or with it.


Reality doesn't have to stop me from pursuing my goals for a simpler, yet more fulfilling life.

Comments

  1. is it my imagination or is this written directly to me?
    do i detect a note of self-defense? oh, i do hope i didn't offend anyone with my slow isn't slow remark, that wasn't my intention at all!
    this is something i really struggle with, especially because i HAD that slow (as in not busy) life once, years ago. i don't regret for a minute the changes that have led me to where i am now. in some ways actually, i feel like i am a better person now. when my life was truly slow (as in not busy, but also far more slow like you mean than i am now) i was very self-righteous about it, and very in-flexible. getting married and having kids just doesn't allow for either of those, right? we get so busy because we are trying to do our best, for everyone around us, and this modern world just offers up so much busyness!
    btw, reading the paper wouldn't have clued you in to chocolate slavery. mainstream media doesn't touch this one. and i am just as much an ignorer of world affairs as you or anyone else. it's somewhat of a coincidence that i know about it. but when i did find out, i felt mad that it wasn't just common knowledge. of course, if it was, it would stop.
    i have done some sporadic research into food choices, and that is what i thought i ought to share with other mamas out there who, like me, might mostly keep their noses to the home grindstone ;)

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  2. No, no, it wasn't aimed at you and no offence was taken. You did get me thinking though, which is a good thing, right? Looking after a family, the time just isn't our own anymore. It does get easier when they go off to school, but life is still full. Which is good! But something does have to give, and I don't know what it is either, please let me know if you figure it out! I've been in that deep fried moment of madness, and it frustrates me like you wouldn't believe!

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  3. Hi Christine,
    your article is identical to how I feel and have been travelling these last 10 years or so.
    I came out of a job that left me burnt out and exhausted. I wanted to shut myself off from everyone and thing that was demanding too much of me. When you are a mostly volunteer, small paid work, people tend to swarm all over you trying to get as much out as they can. It cannot last.
    So slowly I started to learn to say NO and now 10 years later I feel proud of myself that I have extricated myself for the abyss and have spent quality time with my family and good friends and am now about to embark on the next stage of my life and that is to move to the country and live as self reliantly as e can. hooray for us like minded wonderful people who can see thru the brain washing of society today!
    Dayla

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  4. Hi Dayla, thanks for sharing your experiences. It's good to know we're not alone (much as it feels like it, most of the time!). Nothing compares to spending quality time with family and loved ones and at the end of our days I am sure we will have no regrets about choosing this path. :)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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