moving out of the fast lane

Monday, September 4, 2017
On a walk at the cottage // Copyright: SlowDowntown.com
Growing up, our household was a slow-friendly sort. Where traditional "living rooms" in the typical American home often go untouched, ours was a well-used respite from the TV ... a big, long couch and cozy chairs all faced one another, and through my entire life, I congregated there for not only lazy morning conversations over coffee, but some of the most important discussions ever had with my parents.

That sort of leisurely dialogue - legs outstretched and magazines always within reach - seemed so normal to me. It wasn't until after college when a guy that I'd been dating seriously (notably, one who didn't last) complained after a few visits home about all that time spent talking without the comforting buzz of a TV nearby. Apparently, it made him uncomfortable. (Hello, red flag.)

Don't get me wrong. I'm probably clocking in far too closely to the average adult, logging significantly scary amounts of screen time per day. But, I'd like to think that reliance isn't part of the equation in my case.

That said, one of the most instrumental parts of my life growing up was Northern Michigan. In our family's small lake cottage, without cable or internet... but with fishing and baking and napping and Boggle, we had plenty of space and plenty of quiet. We spent quite a bit of time there and it was, without a doubt, my favorite place. It didn't teach me to slow down; it forced me to slow down.

It's been sold, for several, necessary reasons. And I miss it terribly.

But really, slowing down is only part of the process. The other piece, which I feel is pretty critical, is simplifying. And that is where I find myself now.

With a busy corporate job, a relatively new marriage, a bevy of demanding amazing friends, it's hard to reserve time for, well, nothing. But I'm craving quiet. A space for reflection. Time to melt butter, spill flour and fool around with new cookie recipes. And do you know what I've found? That only happens when I've carved out time for me, when I've said no to obligations or commitments that weren't soul-filling (but soul-sucking).

We live on a busy street, but just because we look out onto a constant whir of traffic does not mean that we're meant to match is pace. Here in the little oasis we've established, I'd like to declare home our hideaway.

I'm not entirely sure how, but I'm making it my mission to try to find out. And if you'd care to follow along and track our hopeful progress, I'd love to have you.

Have you felt the urge to pump the brakes? And if so, what first steps have you taken? 

I loved this little wooden bridge.

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