Since buying this house, over three years ago now, we have been trying to create a slow and simple home. There are some weeks when I glance around our home and the space is far from slow and simple, and having a slow home feels as elusive as ever.
When you are in the midst of house renovations there are bound to be patches of chaos. We have spent the last few weeks with the house feeling topsy turvy whilst we restored a sash window and then moved all the furniture out of one room into another in order to paint a floor (more on that later.)
Recently, I’ve been getting frustrated with how slow the progress has been. I know it’s ironic for some one who writes about slow living to admit that, but I just wish we could speed things up a little. How your home feels, and the space around you can have a really big impact on your well-being, and at the moment I am definitely craving more calm and order from our home.
It’s a new year, 2018 is here and there is a fresh new energy. Time to plan and set intentions for the new year ahead right? Well, what if you’re not quite in that head space yet..? How about we try another approach? Take a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath and really tune into your body… what’s the one thing it really needs right now? If it’s dreaming and scheming then go for it, but if you are anything like me you are craving rest, rest and a bit more rest.
I have definitely been easing myself into 2018. In previous years by now I have been struck by inspiration to dream, plan, choose my word for the year ahead, but that is not how I am feeling this year. I have an idea or two about why that is, but more on that later, in the meantime, I am just allowing myself to take things extra slowly. Which Is why it has taken me until now to write this first blog post.
Our bodies are wise, and even if you think you are pretty good at listening to yours, it’s sometimes so easy (with the wonders of social media) to get distracted by what everyone else is doing. It’s tempting to allow ourselves to fall in line with other peoples rhythm. Only you can set your own pace, not anyone else. Do what feels good for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick one thing to focus on, or do small things that feel manageable. Currently what’s helping me is concentrating on where I am finding the most joy.
Over the last few years I have realised that everything always comes in waves… creativity, work, energy, mood, seasons, monthly cycles… all of life is always ebbing and flowing. Before, I would get panicky if things got too quiet, or I wasn’t feeling creative, and I would often put pressure on myself and force myself to keep going. Now, however I am learning to savour the lulls and soak up the quiet pauses. If I am not feeing something, I sit and wait and have faith that it will return again as sure as spring will be here in a few months.
Hooray, our slow and simple kitchen is finished! And it feels so good to have it done.
It has taken us a little while to get to this point, but that is the reality when you are renovating your victorian house yourself whilst raising a family, working and making space to enjoy life a little too.
We wanted to create a really simple and natural space that would be easy to cook in. The kitchen is small, so everything needs to be organised well. Luckily we have a big larder and the kitchen joins on to a breakfast room where we are able to keep most of our serving dishes.
It’s been a while since I have posted and that is partly because I have been busy putting together The Slow Living Retreat. The free book is designed to help you slow down and reconnect back to yourself. It’s launching next week, so there is still time to join in and sign up to get your free copy.
I am often asked about how we manage to live slowly. It seems as though people think there is some sort of mystery to it. However, I believe anyone can benefit from some slow living. As a lifestyle it can conjure up images of retreating to the country and growing your own vegetables, but in reality it doesn’t need to include either of those things. Of course it is possible to live slowly in a busy city. No matter who you are and what your life is currently like, I am sure that by slowing down and becoming aware of those wholehearted moments in your day, you will improve your wellbeing and bring more happiness into your life.
It seems a little ironic for me to be writing this blog post, as over the last few weeks I haven’t taken much time to myself at all. Like most people I guess, when I am busy, the ‘me time’ is the first thing to go.
With the Easter school holidays, and our kitchen renovation (more coming on that soon), resting has been pretty sparse too.
Rest is of course, fundamental to our well-being, and everyone has their own way of unwinding and relaxing. Perhaps the idea of ‘me time’ for some folk sounds awful. The concept that we all need some time to ourselves to slow down and reconnect makes sense though, doesn’t it?