When life doesn’t go so slowly

Sometimes life isn’t slow. There are days, weeks or maybe even a whole month where it’s busy, fast paced and feels full-on. When it’s full-on with exciting and happy things, that’s great. When it’s a busyness that you’re not choosing and feels like it’s taking over your lifestyle that’s not so great. It’s at this point that you can feel like your slow lifestyle is slipping away.

This year has definitely not been my best year so far - it literally started with a sickness bug in the family, then a close family member had a stroke which has really shaken things up and my 9-5 has been rapidly turning into a very stressful 9-9+ on a daily basis. I haven’t written anything on here in ages because not only had my creativity dried up but I also felt like I didn’t have the right to talk about slow living when I didn’t feel like I was living it. Five months back at work and my lifestyle had almost flipped back to what it had been pre-maternity leave and I’d failed at slow living. Who was I then to write or talk about it?

But then I thought, maybe this is exactly the time that I really need to write about it. Sometimes, the strongest things are those forged in fire. There is as much to be learnt about how to create a slow lifestyle when it goes completely out of kilter as when it’s all going smoothly. Perhaps even more. Maybe there are other people out there who have had these wobbly times too and if we share what we learn about how to get our lifestyles back to where we want them to be then that can help everyone.

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Something that I have learnt from Jen Carrington is that no one is going to do your life for you. People can help you but only you can decide what you want, what you can manage and cope with and what your boundaries are. Which means only you can draw those lines in the sand and stand by them and that isn’t always easy. Some people by their very nature can say no and have no doubts or reflections on that. For others, like myself, it is so hard. The pressure to be obliging comes from deep within me and I will destroy all of my boundaries for other people, even if it results in a terrible time for myself. But remember, what impact is not having those boundaries having on you? And what impact is it really going to have on the people around you if you say no?

There are plenty of people and things out there that are quite able to take up all of your time. Put everything down. Have you got twenty minutes in your day where you can decide what you do with it? You could fill it with the jobs and chores around the house of which there will always be one to do. Or you could flick through social media on your phone because it’s light and easy. Instead, put some thinking into working out what it is that makes you feel better. It’s not selfish to look after yourself or to make time to do things that you want to do. It is after all your life so you should have some of the hours each day for things that you want to do as well as time for others around you. Use those twenty minutes for you, for self-care: it doesn’t have to be a big thing - it could just be having a cup of coffee in the morning sat in your favourite chair by yourself, looking at the pictures in a magazine and enjoying the feel of turning the pages or just staring out of a window at the world outside. I took twenty minutes for myself the other day when my son was having his nap. I sat on my bed, with the sunshine pouring in through the window and I read a few pages of my new Kinfolk Home book. It felt SO GOOD! Not only did I feel rested but I also felt like i’d had something that made a positive impact on my day and my mind.

Creating your life on your own terms takes effort but it’s worth it. Sometimes it can go a bit wobbly and topsy-turvy but you can right it back again. If you’re building a slower lifestyle for yourself then I hope this helps. I’d also love to hear what you do to slow things down when life gets a bit on the crazy side.