Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Slow Life

I'm a rural girl, I confess. I don't mind seeing occasional photos of big cities (if I have to), but don't make me go there. Haha! And for a woman who's often eaten-up with nerves on the inside, I truly do prefer a slow life. I want the nerves to go away. I want peace. I want to sit in under the shade tree and watch the bees fly.

But I've never been great at living The Slow Life. We succumb to the rat-race, don't we? The rat-race mantra is this: if there's a way to spend a little money and do something faster or easier, do it. Drive, don't walk. Drive-in, don't cook. Hire-it-out, don't do it yourself.

For years, the best example of The Slow Life that I had was my brother and sister-in-law, and their family. Twenty-five years ago (or more), he knew the kind of life he wanted, and he worked hard to get it: a farm, a huge garden, a somewhat self-sustained life, a milk cow, chickens, a basement with deep freezers and shelves of full Mason jars. Before it was popular, he was into a small carbon footprint. They wanted a different life, a slower life. I admired that and loved to visit them on the farm, although Adam and I simply couldn't do that ourselves. We were always changing jobs, moving, shifting, in a constant mild chaos.

I dabbled in The Slow Life. I canned and preserved and had a garden when I could. I cooked from scratch. Since we didn't have much money ever, it was easier to live without lots of expensive toys and gadgets, vacations, or kid-spoilage. We tried to keep it simple. Stirring inside of me was an undercurrent of longing for a life at home with fresh air, animals, fresh food, few interruptions, lots of family -- a life of glass-not-plastic, open-windows-not-A/C, books-not-screens, cooking-not-restaurants, walking-not-driving. You know?

Jo-Lynne Shane, the most famous blogger I know personally :),  first introduced me to the concept of Slow Food. Real food. Not-from-China food. Veggies grown by real hands in real dirt without chemicals. We began reading labels and striving to be healthier. A healthy mindset eventually led to weight loss, exercise, and a better life.

Then yesterday I came across a bizarre concept:  Slow TV. If you like, watch this crazy fellow from Norway talk about the new CRAZE there ~

Somehow, this concept spurred my thinking. We seem to want everything fast! A person's entire life, in a 2-hour movie! A 30-minute sitcom depicts several days of crisis and resolution in a family's life! Really? And what about our new, cheap entertainment addiction, Reality TV. We've all watched this stuff. Is it reality? Ha!

I'd like to call The Slow Life something else ~~ "Life in Real Time." We damage our souls (I think) when we condense everything into the shortest amount of time, always hurrying, always behind. Do you ever want to  put the brakes on and scream, "STOP! I'm not a slave to the schedule anymore!" Have you ever wished you could break your leg (or your wrist, or just get good-and-sick) so you could stay in bed for a week and get off the hamster wheel? What's in your life that's demanding that you stay on the wheel? Your kids desires? Your mortgage? Your own weaknesses?

After watching the video above, I knew immediately that watching a real-time train video would be mesmerizing. I'd love it. My innards would latch onto such calm, luxurious watching like a hungry baby to mother's milk. I long for calm in a world gone mad. So without further ado, here's your train ride. Full-screen it. Sink into your chair. If it's not your cuppa tea, that's alright. Take a nap through the tunnels if you must.

6 comments:

  1. I like looking for and recalling people in my life who have either not had an opportunity for a speedy flashy life or maybe actually pursued a quieter ordering of their days and I honestly believe that they "get" something that God really wants us to understand. He is timeless. Eternity is ours. We can slow down and see the secrets.

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  2. I really do like the concept! I long for a slower and simpler life too.x

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  3. Can we ever be amidst the "whirl and fast pace of life" and still be deliberate in living "in the moment?" I feel like I live a fairly slow paced life, but even in that, there can be a sense of "hurry up" to get to the next thing. I choose, as best I can, to live in the moment. Perhaps that is a kind of "slowing down," but I think of it as more of appreciating the here and now.

    Just the other day a quilting friend said that she tries not to hurry through her quilts because she loves quilting so much, and she'd rather quilt than clean her house. After thinking about that, I realized that often when I am sewing or making a quilt that I press hard to get done in a timely manner instead of enjoying each little step. I was grateful for that little tidbit of sewing wisdom.

    Thank you, MK, for helping us to think a little longer on slowing down and smelling the roses -- few a few seconds more.

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  4. These videos are great! I haven't taken the whole train ride, but I will when I get a chance.

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  5. Ah, the peace and quiet of the rural life! It's why we left Raleigh four years ago. Out here my day begins with my rooster Ernest T. Bass crowing lustily from his big ol' pine tree. I accomplish a great deal every day --- housework, reading, art, cooking --- and all at my chosen pace. It's such a luxury.

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  6. "Live in Real Time"...love it! The only time I don't live slowly is when I have to help family or friends. Other than that, my clock is God's time and don't care if someone else doesn't like my slow pace. We grew up slow...have always put up food, used to slaughter cows, pigs and chickens, cook from scratch. We are the choices we make and our lives, sooner or later, tell the story.
    Note to Mary Ann Potter...LOVE the rooster's name!!!

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