Slowing Down: The Gift of Time

January 4, 2016 by Melissa | 0 Comments

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: A woman smells a flower in the rose garden at the annual Chelsea flower show on May 25, 2010 in London, England. The Royal Horticultural Society flagship flower show has been held at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea since 1913. This year will be the 87th show here and was originally known as the Great Spring Show and was first held in Kensington in 1862. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This year, rather than making strict New Year’s “resolutions,” we have decided to devote some time during the month of January to renewal.  Renewal of our spirits, minds, bodies, and (of course) living spaces.

First on my list is renewing my spirit.  Throughout last year, and especially at the holidays, I was rushing from one task to the next but I never really had time to enjoy what I was doing or had any time to recharge.  With the start of a new year, I’m going to make a conscious effort to change my behavior.  While it may not happen every day, I’d like to take a little time to stop and smell the (literal and figurative) roses.

After spending some time thinking about how to slow down without ignoring the realities of my responsibilities, I have come up with four things that I think will make a difference.

Coffee ritual

Image courtesy of WaitingonMartha.com

1.  Enjoying the Small Things

Right now, with two kids, two jobs, an on-going house renovation, and other time consuming responsibilities, I have to be realistic.  Reserving every Friday for “me time” is probably not in my future.  But, I think that slowing down and living in the moment is something that can happen in small doses.  For example, everyone has certain rituals they enjoy.  For me, it is a cup of coffee in the morning.  My entry into the day is so much better if I have a few minutes to actually savor a latte and scroll through my daily reads without interruption.  Unfortunately, mornings have become frenzied in our house and my daily ritual has been completely upended.  Effective immediately, I intend to reinstitute my morning coffee ritual and take back 15 minutes for myself every day.

teux deux

Image courtesy of TeuxDeux.com

2.  Organizing My Personal Life

While I am quite organized in my professional life, I tend to let things slide in my personal life.  Whether it is packing school lunches, going to the grocery store, or purchasing gifts for upcoming birthday parties . . . I put off these mundane tasks until the last possible minute, which means that I am perpetually rushing and creating unnecessary stress.  I need a better system to keep track of the tasks that require my attention outside of work.  To that end, I am trying out a “to do” app (appropriately) named Teux Deux.  The app is quite simple to use and allows you to create short term and long term goals.  And, if you are old school like me, gives you the satisfaction of actually crossing items off your daily list.  Stay tuned for my review of the app after the free trial period expires.

slow cooker

Image courtesy of TheHuffingtonPost.com

3.  Planning Weeknight Meals

I love to cook.  The busy-ness of life, however, prevents me from doing as good of a job as I would like to do in this department.  I have to accept the fact that I will never be a person who plans all of the next week’s dinners on Sunday and sticks to it.  I am not interested in spending my Sunday prepping meals, and I am too fickle to actually stick with a plan for a whole week.  But, I do think I can do better than I am doing now.  And, I think that by planning some dinners in advance, I could use the extra time to catch up with my family and unwind.  In an effort to renew my dinner-making efforts, I intend to pull down my slow-cooker, try out some new recipes, and commit to planning at least three week-night dinners in advance.

reading quote

Image courtesy of BuzzFeed.com

4.  Looking Away From The Screen

Like many of you, I am guilty of putting my kids to bed and logging back into work.  While there are times that a deadline makes this absolutely necessary, there are other times when it is not.  I would like to break the habit and form a new one of banning myself from electronics for thirty minutes before bedtime.  Recently, I have found myself craving the feel of a book (not an iBook, an actual book).  I am hopeful my no-screen policy before bed will allow me to focus inward and recharge.

What about you?  How do you slow down?  What are you planning to do to renew your spirit in 2016?


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