Saturday, November 9, 2013

Life in the Slow Lane

Before starting a homestead farm, I lived a fast lane life. Not the glamorous high profile life. But the life of rushing around, multi tasking, working fast all day long trying to get everything done. Work fast, talk fast, eat fast, drive fast, live fast.

Time saving devices filled my fast paced life : dishwashers, washing machines, food processors, microwaves, clothes dryers, anything to save time. In the garden, use a rototiller instead of a shovel. For chopping wood, use a gasoline woodsplitter instead of a maul. Drive in the car to go even to close destinations instead of riding a bike.The problem with time saving devices was that I didn't use the saved time for leisure or enjoyment. Oh no, the time was used to accomplish more, work more, get more done. 

Life in the Eastcoast always seemed at high speed to me. But ya know, I thought that it was completely normal! I didn't know any other kind of life, other than summertime as a child. But even then, days were spent playing and exploring at high speed. 

So now I find myself in the slow lane. What happened? People say, oh you retired. No, that's not it. I'm more involved in projects now that I'm retired. More things that I'm involved with. But I've definitely slowed down. My old friends back on the Eastcoast even say that I talk slowly now. 

Some how moving to a rural setting, participating in a community, and trying to live more of a homestead lifestyle has slipped my gears. While I work quite a bit on my projects, I have lost the urgency, the need to get things done today, or yesterday! At then end of a day, I tell myself that I'm satisfied with what I accomplished, regardless of a job being completed or not. That's not something I was able to do before. If a job didn't get completed, I use to be on edge, restless, I'd sleep poorly, dream stress-dreams. Ya know, I like the slow lane a whole lot better! 

I've shed many of the time saving devices that I use to have. I've adapted. So now when I add one, such as my riding mower, I allow myself to use the found free time for enjoyment --  exploring the woods, riding my horse, playing with some artwork, brushing my dogs, spending time with my sheep, tinkering in my gardens. Wow, it's like being reborn. I don't have to rush, don't have to tackle another job. Instead I get to enjoy some aspect of being alive. 
A sunset digital art painting that I'm working on. 
As a child I spent a lot of time, especially during summers, exploring, investigating, and learning. Somewhere along in life I stopped making time for that. Now that life isn't as urgent, I've thought about going back to some of my childhood ways. I'm making time to explore. 

Returning to my childhood? No. Adult life is here to stay. No one else is going to provide my food, pay my bills, give me a house, etc. No, I'm an adult living an adult life.....but..... When planting in the garden, why not look under rocks to see what's living there? At the end of a day, sit and watch a sunset for 5 minutes. I make time to go exploring down at South Point, snuffling around the coastal rocks and beach combing. Take time to track down which plant is emitting that lovely floral scent. 

Living a slower life isn't living with boredom, it's just the opposite. It's living a full life. 

Above photo-- a dear friend who showed me the wonderful magic of exploring lava formations. 


  1. Digital art, what an interesting idea. And very well put about time saving devices. We don't actually save time, we just spend more of it. Good post.

  2. Life in the slow lane was and is my goal. After decades of hard work, occasional hardships and disappointments, the rewards of getting up late just because I want to, or staying up well into the next day, seems lazy at times, but I give it some practice. Hard play like mowing the acreage, dragging cardboard, leaves, da kine leaves happy-tired, because I start, stop, rest, and restart when I feel like it. Time becomes fluid. I like that.

  3. Happy-tired. I like that way of saying it. I get happy-tired most days. For some reason I feel healthier now that I'm physically working most days to the point of happy-tired. Yes, I stop frequently and take a break. But I go back and do some more. By the end of the day I'm tired enough to sleep well at night, but not overly bushed.

    Barry, if you don't mind, I'd like to adopt "happy-tired" as one of my sayings.

    1. Of course! Glad it resonates with you.

  4. Life in the slow lane is our goal....we just have to stop filling up every minute. I've started taking a nap whenever I feel like it!