On Slow Living, and Appreciation

I work in the city. And people in the city, it seems, are always in a rush. This is especially evident to me after returning from Tasmania, where everything seems to go at a much slower pace, and an infinitely calmer one at that.

I was walking to the bank this morning, taking my time because I had plenty of it before I had to open the shop. As I stood at the stoplights, waiting for the little green man to tell me I could walk, a man ahead of me pressed the button about ten times in quick succession. This is a habit that has always baffled me. Pressing the button more times is not going to make everything go faster. And yet, I see people doing it all the time. I understand that perhaps they are pressed for time, or simply impatient. But they are going to have to wait regardless, so why the need for pointless actions?

It’s the same when you walk down the street. I have witnessed pedestrians practically bowling other people over in their mad rush to get to a destination. I find rushing around rather denotes a lack of regard for one’s surroundings. And again, I understand that frustration; you’ve got a time limit, and you’re caught behind someone who is walking really slowly. But that is no need to physically shove someone out of your path – no matter how much you might be thinking about it.

I think we often forget to stop, and take stock of our surroundings. I wonder how many things we miss because we’re too busy rushing around. That whole “stop and smell the roses”thing is a cliche, certainly, but I think there is some merit to it. I live a busy life, and a fast one. Time seems to disappear more quickly than I can account for it (except when I’m bored out of my skull at work, of course) and I never seem to have time to stop and breathe, much less take time to do the things I love. By the time I get home (my days with travel can go for 12 hours), I have no energy or motivation to do anything. On the nights I cook, alternating with my housemate, I have even less motivation. I feel like I spend so much of my time working for the man, running errands, chasing things up and chasing things around, that I don’t really get to appreciate life, and the art of living.

My housemate and I have recently come to a decision to move out individually from our house, so that I can be closer to the new shop I’ll be working in as of next month. I have been looking at rental properties and most are within ten minutes drive of the new workplace. This means more time in the morning to enjoy breakfast, or a sleep in or whatever else that extra time will allow me. And it means I will get home within fifteen minutes of finishing work, rather than having to rely on unreliable public transport that has been known to take over an hour. This, in addition to having an actual sewing room again, is the thing that is going to make this next month bearable. I am thrilled at the prospect of having time to come home and eat, and still having energy and motivation to sit at the machine, or the computer, and create to my heart’s content. And, landlord permitting, I am going to get a dog. And I will walk him, and get back into the exercise that I have been sorely missing, and hopefully these things will mean I will get to better appreciate this little life of mine. And I really am rather excited. Slower living is going to make for a much happier Amy.

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