I’ve been running away from writing about what I really want to write about here, which is slowness. Partly, I find that I am not really able to explain what I mean by that when people ask about it. So I’ve been putting it off, and feeling awkward about it, and getting annoyed that I’m not writing about what I want to write about, and, well, I’m over it. I sat down today and thought about what it is I really mean by slowness and here’s the definition I decided I’m going with.
Slowness: the experience of allowing yourself not to be in a rush.
In practicing slowness, we can:
- do our normal things more slowly, with more purpose and awareness
- do inherently slow things that are not normal for us and might make us feel a little weird but, hey, we’re experimenting so it’s cool
- do the slow things we really love to do, but that we don’t do because we think we need to be busy all the time doing big, serious, grown-up type things, or because we feel a little weird or judged when people see us doing it
all while being more open and willing to experience life more richly as a result.
That last one there is my own personal challenge – hence three weeks of not writing a post because I wanted to talk more specifically about slowness, but thought you might all think it’s just a little weird, and that I am just a little weird, and, well, that would be the end of that. You might still think it, but I can’t not write about it any more, so I’m going to just roll with it.
Slow = Excitement!
To get you excited about the idea of slowness, and hopefully deter you from the idea that slow=boring, here’s a sneak preview list of some things I will be writing about in the coming posts:
- Color in a coloring book. Think it’s for kids? It’s not. If you aren’t into Disney Princesses or Power Rangers, don’t worry. There are great coloring books out there for adults!
- Spend an evening making something. Anything. Go to the pound shop/dollar store with £5/$5 and buy anything that looks interesting. Bring it home, let your imagination take you where it will and see what your creation turns into.
- Take a different path to work. Get off one stop earlier or one stop later and see a little bit of the city you never get into.
- Take the same path to work but make a point of noticing something you never have before.
- Order something different from the menu at that place where you always get the same thing.
- Make someone a present for their un-birthday or un-Christmas.
- Give a stranger a compliment, or maybe even just a smile.
There are so many small ways we can slow down, even for just a minute or two, and see the world in a different way. I don’t know about you, but I find slowness terribly exciting!
I’m really looking forward to hearing about what small/medium/big things you do to slow yourself down and appreciate life more. What habits do you have that scatter slow moments in your day? What habits are you trying to break to live life more slowly? Please share in the comments! I love hearing what you are up to.
Postcard of the Day
If you’ve read any previous posts, you’ll know that postcards are one of my favorite slow things. They rock for many reasons. Each week I send a postcard to a reader (strangers get priority), and post a photo of where I wrote the card. This week, I wrote the card in honor of my new membership in the Cloud Appreciation Society. I’m pretty excited to be a part of the gang (we’re kind of a big deal). I’ll tell you all about what the Society is and how you can be a part of it next time.
See you then!
Want a postcard? Send me your details here and I will send you one!
6 thoughts on “Slowness”
Nice. I like the idea of taking different routes to work and getting off a stop early. Last week I walked by a building I had walked by hundreds of times, but came at it from the side street rather than the main road I am usually on, and noticed for the first time a historic plaque I’d never noticed before.
Another good thing is to go to an area you frequent, but at a different time than you usually go.
That’s a very good point! We do get really used to seeing certain places at specific times. Great tip!!
Such an excellent post and something I’ve been trying to do recently so very inspiring. The idea of getting off at different stops resonated with me. When I lived in Paris I used to do this loads, and ended up knowing the city so much better because of it. Where I live now, I often drive different ways (not slow enough I know!) to get to places, as you find unexpected treats as you go along. Even more so with walking. Thank you so much!
Thank you so much 🙂 I am so glad to hear you are excited about too. The different stops idea is such a simple one but it is amazing how much it can change your day. I bet you knew more places near your office than most other people did because you took just a few minutes more to do it occasionally. Nothing wrong with doing the same thing by car 🙂 I love doing that too! I am looking forward to hearing what other simple adventures you get up to 🙂
Hey didn’t realise you were in London these days… I’m stuck here til the end of the month before i move to Saudi Arabia and i’m always looking for (cheap/free) stuff to do with my boys… any tips. We are in NW2 for the moment any suggestions? Or maybe we could meet up somewhere for a slow walk some day? Let me know here’s me: email@example.com
Well hello neighbour! I am in NW6 (and used to be an NW2er myself!). I am only in London for a few more days but I would love to get together for a relaxing coffee or stroll through Gladstone Park! I shall email you now 🙂