It did however, get me to thinking just how much we try and pack into our 'slow' lives. Speaking from my own perspective, I know how hard it is to stay true to one's values and ideals while trying to fit everything else in that our fast pace world throws at us. If only our schools, workplaces and communities would oblige things would be so much easier! But they don't, and they aren't so we find ourselves forming our own way of a slow existence that works uniquely for us.
For instance, take the work that happens inside the home for those embarking (and already) on the slow living path. Household cleaners, body products and homemade gifts. Not to mention edibles - homemade yoghurt, cheese and other dairy delights, bread made from scratch and homemade stock to boot! It never seems to end and is something I consider a full time job in itself. I really do take my hat off to couples (and singles too!), working outside of the home, raising a family and staying true to their own slow living values. Or those working inside the home, raising a family and homeschooling no less.
Where does it all fit in?
Does something have to give to include a new 'necessary' function for the home, a 'must have' for the well being of the inhabitants? Speaking for myself, I find it incredibly challenging trying to fit in all the 'necessary' home jobs, let alone managing to fit in anything extra, such as a little vegetable gardening on the side, fruit tree tending, entertaining thoughts of keeping a milking goat and so on. Not to mention a touch of creativity for the soul along the way. And property maintenance! Lets not even go there. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be a time when we will 'catch up', a time when the property will be functioning in such a way that only minimal maintenance is required and systems are well and truly in place for growing and harvesting our own food. That is my dream day, oh yes!
1. Do not be too hard on yourself, you are only human and can only do so much in a day! Very important to remember.
2. When things just don't seem manageable on the home front, it is OK to purchase!. Ethically of course, but perfectly OK!! Farmers markets, local fruit, vegetable and meat growers, roadside stands, whatever is your thing. Ditto for handmade gifts, wouldn't it be lovely to have a fully stocked 'gift larder'? But when life throws you hectic times, buying local and handmade is nearly as good for the soul as making something yourself. Support local bakers, makers and hand crafters. If you yourself are one, you will know first hand how much effort, time and thought goes into making something to sell.
3. Laugh. Sometimes no other response is needed. Enjoy this crazy ride we call Life and learn from it. We all make mistakes and the most important thing is to learn from them, as cliche as that sounds. It's true!
4. Prioritise. Prioritise. Prioritise. Yes it's obvious, but do what's most important today, and work down the list for the week. Some things can go untouched for ages, as they slowly move up that list of priorities. You will know when it's the right time to get onto it :)
5. I'm a big one for bulk tasking. Washing, cooking, gardening. It saves so much time from flitting between tasks when you focus on the one thing for a good solid couple of hours. Well, perhaps not washing, I don't think I could focus on washing for that long! But it's true that I prefer to wash in loads in a particular day rather than scatter it out over a series of days. Cooking is a big one here and I really need to follow my own advice more and double batch cook meals more often. This saves so much time, stress and washing up, it is well worth doing on a regular basis.
6. Following on from 5, menu planning. Something I really need to get back to. Things just seem to function much more harmoniously when there is a plan for the week. None of that five o'clock stress about what to suddenly whip out for dinner. The meals themselves also seem to be much more enjoyed and well received when they've been plotted and planned. Yes, best get onto that. ;)
7. Plan out the tasks for the week and write them down. Try to check off at least one 'forward progress' task a day. By this I mean, something out of the ordinary routine of life of meals, washing, transporting children, work and so on (fast paced life, remember?). Get to that batch of soap that you've been meaning to make for months. Less time will be spent actually making it than the time you've wasted stewing over getting around to it! Very true. Dig over that new garden bed, it will take an hour, tops! Tomorrow, paint that gate and the following day, hang it! Forward progress people, a little each day will get us to where we want to be. ;)
8, 9 and 10 + - Tell me your tips, I would love to hear!
I think we could all learn from each other here, so please share your tips for how you go about keeping true to your Slow Living values while wading through the busyness of life. You're a clever bunch, the monthly Slow Living catch ups reinforces this every time!
Enjoy your Monday out there, peepsicles. :)