Living slowly this autumn

Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness
— To Autumn - John Keats

It’s that time of year again when the leaves turn to their fiery colours and the nights draw in. It’s a beautiful season where nature puts on its last display of colour before retreating to rest for the winter months. It’s one of my most productive seasons; as the temperatures start to drop my brain comes back to life and I feel really inspired in these latter months of the year. It would be so easy to let that busyness take over, to just work and work. Yet this year I want to keep a balance; to capitalise on that inspiration and desire to work but to also remember to slow down.

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What is slow living?

Slow living is personal - after all it’s your life and no one can tell you how to live it. Generally, slow living is to know what it is in life that you value the most and to dedicate enough time to those things. It is to live intentionally rather than being carried along with other people’s requests, demands and ideas.

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How am I going to live slowly this autumn?

I’m back in the office this season but I want to still try to make time on these work days to have moments of slow living. I want to make time for a morning coffee and to have lunch away from the computer screen. Just these two small things should help to slow life down a little and to give me something to appreciate away from work. In my free time I want to make time to do the following:

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  • read a book (minimum of two a month)

  • read with our son (minimum twice a week) (we read to him every night but I also want to read with him during the day at the weekends where we can read different types of books and engage with them in a different way than we would at bedtime)

  • take photographs (wherever, whenever and as much as possible)

  • bake (once a week)

  • write blog posts (one per week)

  • go for a country walk with my husband and son (one per week)

  • have a meal or coffee break out of the house with just my husband (once a week)

  • take our son swimming (when we can - for some reason the logistics of this are always tricky)

  • see a cultural exhibition (once a month)

  • do some sort of craft activity with our son (twice a month - he’s only one so there’s only so much craft he can do at the moment!)

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There’s a great article over on The Minimalist’s blog (here) on making time for things that are important to you. They work on the rule of doing each thing twice a week rather than trying to squeeze everything in each day and then beating yourself up if it doesn’t happen. I’m trying to be realistic with how much time I have and what can be achieved within it so instead of looking at each day or week, I’m looking at the season as a whole.

There’s also a mixture in my list between activities that are just for me and those to share with my husband and son. One of the things I’ve found since my son was born is how easy it is to put him first all of the time and then just crash at the end of the day and spend an hour or so watching mindless TV. I really want to capture these evenings, spending quality time with my husband.

How are you going to live slowly this Autumn?

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