Recently, I wrote about living with French style, CLICK HERE and it’s interesting that the thing that people most identified with was a life lived too fast, walking through the day without paying attention to it, rushing through meals, without tasting the food, and speeding to destinations without enjoying the journey.
I get that and I think all busy people can relate to it. I thought it was worth a bit more discussion.
Whether you are looking for more of a French lifestyle or not, I think we could all benefit from slowing down, and enjoying the small things in our day. This is especially meaningful to me after my recent trip to the mountains of North Carolina. Our friends there ask us all the time when we are moving there. We can’t right now, but I do think about it. The pace there is slower, gentle, and unhurried.
It seems that a rushed, hurried life is glorified in today’s world. The message seems to be, if you aren’t busy, then maybe you aren’t important. That’s crazy! It’s true that I used to work nonstop for years. I wondered if there was something more to life, than constant work. And so about a year ago, I began to transform my life into something much more balanced. I wanted to focus on good physical and mental health. Healthy living has become an important focus for me – healthy, organic meals with less meat. I try to eat vegan for breakfast and lunch. I’ve replaced most of the toxic cleaners and other products in our home with nontoxic cleaners and bug repellants. I try to avoid buying processed foods. To make these changes, I needed to declutter my schedule, so I had time dedicated to making these changes.
Another thing I’ve done is to add rest, and time with friends into my week. If I’m tired, rather than pushing myself like I used to, I stop and rest. That’s so important for my health (and really anybody’s.) If I had to sum it up, I would say I’m striving to have balance in my life. Am I happier now? Yes! It really is true that the things that make us the happiest can’t be bought.
One podcast I found that you might enjoy is the Slow Home, CLICK HERE. They are all about slowing down to de-stress and enjoy life. It’s an interesting listen if you want to hear how this couple does it. I can’t tell you how life changing it has been for me to slow down and really appreciate every day as a gift. Slowing down has allowed me to not only enjoy everyday happenings, but it also has given me time to get things under control that were driving me nuts like my filing, bill paying, laundry, and dishes. Now I try to get all filing done at the end of each day. I have time to fold the laundry right away rather than a week later. My life no longer feels chaotic and out of control. I am saying ‘no’ much more often now. I know a lot of things in our schedules are out of our control, especially if you have a fulltime job, but there are probably many decisions you can make to reduce stress in your life, if you choose to. You can remove unnecessary things from your schedule and add in time to just relax or spend time with family and friends.
I figure what is the accomplishing all of these things, if you don’t have time to actually enjoy them? I remember the celebration when I finished my book lasted all of 5 minutes. That’s because I had so much to do at that point to start promoting it. My work is still a big part of my life, but it isn’t my entire life. I didn’t mean for it to become my life, but it had to some extent. I am not ready to retire (far from it) but it just makes sense to create balance in my life. I am making an effort to see friends and it feels so luxurious! I’m cooking again, and I am falling in love with the simple joy of preparing a meal. I’m no longer working until midnight. My life feels much more manageable, unlike a few years ago when it felt like I was on a runaway train.
Living a slow life isn’t about not having ambition or giving up on life, it’s about life balance. I think Ferris Bueller said it best.