my summer of slow living

Geoffrey & Grace my summer of slow living

It won’t be a surprise to you that after my last post on ‘big thinking and slowing down’ that I am dedicating this summer to some ‘slow living’. I need to regain some balance, and to me this seems the perfect way to do it.

My thoughts have turned to slow living lots recently. I often find that I naturally want to work at a slower pace than parts of our society seem to require. I like to take my time to process things, and when there is a lot happening, I crave time to soak it all up and let my thoughts have a little bit of space to develop. This was only highlighted by recent trips to London where everyone is literally moving at such a speed. I was reminded why I love it so much where we live, but even in our sleepy market town by the sea, you can’t avoid certain aspects of our society that expect you to keep up with things and move at a fast pace.

It turns out though that I am not the only one craving a more gentle approach to life. Last weeks post seemed to strike a chord with many of you, and it would appear that lots of us often get that desire to slow things down.


I have had to work really hard lately at being present and making it count, and that message is at the heart of slow living.

Earlier this week I experienced something which was a perfect example of why it’s good to be present. I happened upon a man trimming a lavender hedge; he had four big boxes full of fragrant cut offs. I had the fleeting thought that he might be about to throw it all away. I couldn’t bear to think of all that beautiful lavender being wasted. He was just going to dispose of it, so kindly gave it to me instead. If I had been buried in my phone, checking various notifications – which describes my walk home from the nursery drop of recently – I would have completely missed out.

Essentially my summer will be like a 6 week meditation, when I will try to be mindful and make the most out of every moment – choosing quality over quantity. Slow living doesn’t mean you don’t achieve anything, or you aren’t active, it just places importance on being present and wholehearted in each moment. Making true connections as opposed to rushing through things and having that feeling like you weren’t really there.

It is so easy to miss little gems of moments if we are distracted with ‘grown-up’ stuff and work. When I am playing with Bailey, I am going to play hard. I will be sure to completely unplug for designated days. Finally I am going to breathe into the moments of rest and truly relax in them – unburdened by the guilty feeling that I should be ‘crossing something of my list’.

Slow living goes hand in hand with my wholehearted approach to life and I can’t wait to find a slower rhythm. It will be interesting to see how I do, and of course I will keep you posted on how I am getting on.

To be the happiest and healthiest we can be, I think we could all benefit from a slower gear, a pause for thought, more moments of stillness. Even if society; work, friends, family, life in general demands for us to move more quickly, perhaps we should resist the need for speed and opt for some slower living.

What do you think? Will you take things more slowly over the summer? Do you think all of society would benefit from a change of gear? Would love to know…

 

 

  • I am so looking forward to things slowing down over the summer holidays. Lazy mornings, just taking our time to do things, not having to rush and constantly badgering little one to get dressed and ready for school. It will be so nice, life can be so rushed and chaotic.

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Morag. Lazy mornings are great aren’t they 🙂 Enjoy your summer break

  • Oh yes, I’m all for slow living and mindfulness! Still a work in progress to turn off that nagging feeling that I should be doing something else and worrying about to do lists…but you have to start with intention! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being out in the garden today – I think it’s good to have time away from screens.
    Have you come across Flow Magazine? I think you would like it – it’s all about slow living and mindfulness. I’m just waiting for the mindfulness special to arrive – will let you know what it’s like. Good luck with your slow living summer xxx

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you Zoe, Yes I have heard of it, but never read any though – will take a look. And you are absolutely right… you have to start with an intention, hopefully that nagging feeling will get less and less with practice xxx

  • Melanie, this is so beautiful. I really am glad that I found your lovely blog and I’m sorry, I actually meant to comment on your previous thoughtful post. I couldn’t agree more about how important it is to be present, it’s something I’ve been practicing this year and it’s really changed my life. I love the idea of a ‘summer of slow living’ though, and being even more mindful when the season is so lovely but when we can also end up with full calendars, events and plans pulling at the seams of life. I’m going to join you on this one, if you don’t mind! xx

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Of course Esther 🙂 Join in – I really do think we would all benefit with a slower pace, and you are right about summer being a time when your calendar gets full. So glad you are enjoying the blog and thank you for your kind comment x

  • I love this, the whole go slow is something i’ve been trying to muster for a while and keep failing at. I really need to get a routine going fo rthe summer break so I can balance work and play along with some me time, otherwsie it’ll rush by and then F will be off to big school and that will be it. Blub. I need some tips on how to slow myself down while managing the workload. x

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Lori, and you are right I think a routine can help in the beginning, as it helps establish good behaviour patterns. I know how you feel about wanting to make the most of your time with F, Bailey will start school next September too, and the time is whizzing bye – am trying to cherish all of it – but tricky whilst trying to work. Will let you know how I get on x

  • As I get older I find that slow living becomes less of a choice and more of an imposed necessity!

    • geoffreyandgrace

      This made me giggle Sharon 🙂

  • Olivia

    what a wonderful post. your words are so soothing & thiughts inspiring. am a self confessed 100 mph girl who tears through the juggle of home & work.. but I’m the one, like you, alert to those lavender moments… you have given me lots to think about & improve on, thank you. xx ps flow is ???????? not only the content, but the way you slow down in anticipation of getting good karma ready to be inspired reading it!!

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Olivia 🙂 Am glad I have given you food for thought. I went and looked at the Flow site and can’t believe I’ve never read an issue. Such perfect timing – will look forward to reading it.

  • Sometimes I read a post so in line with my own thoughts and feelings that I could have written it myself – this is one of those posts! Living more slowly is at the heart of everything I do, but it’s only after years of living a fast-paced lifestyle that I realised I needed to introduce these changes. It’s so nice to hear that others are striving for the same thing.

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you Eleanor for your kind comment. Yes, I think lots of people are looking for an alternative approach and slow living seems to make sense to many. Good luck with your slower pace.

  • Pingback: Little Loves | Baking Betsy()

  • Hello Melanie,
    I’ve just discovered your wonderful blog and am so glad I did – we have lotsof shared ideas and interests. Like you, this year for me has been about learning to slow down. I left a very stressful job in May and am now doing something much calmer! Life is so hectic and rushed and it feels like we are expected to keep up. It is not good for our health or general wellbeing which suffers so much from stress. I now have regular acupuncture which is wonderful.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and lovely photos,
    Fiona – Lucy’s Cottage

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you so much Fiona for your kind words. So glad you have been enjoying the blog. Hope the acupuncture and the slower pace is helping you find some calm. It’s not a nice feeling to feel like you have to keep up. All the best x

  • I have noticed the desire for connection in all kinds of ways recently, it is good to read your thoughts on it too and see the parallels with my own. We were having a family chat about disconnecting from our screens only last night and I have to say that we all benefit from spending less time plugged in and more time in the real world, as it were. How gorgeous that you came home with armfuls of lavender, I love this photo. And smile that we wrote about the same subject a few days apart. Another of those lovely parallels xx

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you Julia. There was more lavender than I could hold, and it took me a while to bunch it up to dry 🙂 I think partly it’s summer that makes us think about slowing down, but I am hoping to hold onto these adjustment all year round. Definitely think it is the way forward for a better quality of life and generally being happier. Will pop over and have a read of your post too. x