Learning to Slow Down

13 Sep

The other morning, as I sat and watched my son throw rock after rock after rock into the creek behind our house, it occurred to me that despite only living on the farm for two months, I have already learned an important lesson – one that I am sure is the main reasons why one would choose to live on a farm in the country in the first place. You see, I have finally learned to slow down.

A friend recently told me about the time he lived in the backwoods of Tennessee for a summer. Him and his friend quickly realized that there was not much going on – like, at all. It was not uncommon to see neighbors, as few as there were, simply sitting on their porch, enjoying the moment. It took him almost an entire summer to learn to slow down and appreciate this peaceful pace.

Our days in the city were more often than not rushed between getting out the door in one piece, doing some kind of activity and driving back home before naptime. By the time both kids were asleep, I was exhausted and slightly stressed out. There were definitely days where we just played in our yard or inside our house, but I found that I got bored quite quickly. The city buzzed all around us and I was eager to be a part of it. I also wanted to expose our kids to more than just our back yard – the beaches, the trails, the zoo, the parks, friend’s houses and so on. So off we went – zoom zoom.

Now that we live in the boonies, zipping all over town is not really an option. Plus, we live on land that houses most of the activities that I drove all over town for. We are super lucky to simply walk down the road to the beach for the morning, picking blackberries along the way as we did yesterday morning or explore the creek beds or wander the pastures looking for the horses. It wasn’t until I sat there by the creek watching the rocks kerplunk in the water over and over again that I realized I wasn’t antsy to move and do something else. I was perfectly content. Peaceful. Quiet.

The energy here is so much slower…you actually have time and space to think and feel and do. I was starting to feel a little crushed and depleted (two kids under 3 will do that to you) and now suddenly, I feel more balanced. I think this is primarily due to the space and the fact that the kids get more and more independent but also to the newly learned skill of simply slowing down our days. I have learned to sit and watch my kids run about instead of simultaneously trying to get 4 things crossed off my list. I have finally realized that trying to stuff it all into one day, one hour, just wasn’t doing anyone any good. This means that sometimes the laundry doesn’t get put away for a few days or the bike trailer tire is still flat – ahem, going on 6 weeks. And you know what? Our lives continue on. They haven’t screeched to a halt. Even better, we are happier, more carefree and less likely to snap at each other.

You don’t need to live in the country or on 100 acres to achieve this – though it is easier to get to that slow pace when you do. I could have attained this in the city as well; it just would have taken a little more work and thought…something I have very little time for these days.

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