When I read Alice Tate’s article on The Pool on living slowly there was so much that I could relate to. I also feel as if I am going through life at 300 mph. I work full time and my work is getting more and more demanding. I blog…as often as I can, have very specific running goals in mind, and am trying to make the new house more of a home. My knee and ankle injuries need constant care and work, and I love running and exercising so much I don’t want to stop.
It’s all happening right now and the days are speeding past. Some days I feel like I am on top of everything and others…well, other days I just don’t. Friday nights are full of zombie -like fugue states and sleep. The weekends flash by and before I know it, it’s Monday again and the alarm is going off at hellish o’clock.
I had a moment a little while ago when I was so tired I sort of stopped. I didn’t snap or cry or rage…I just stopped and wondered what was happening. Was I burning out? I don’t want to slow down – I love my job and I love blogging and all the fitness stuff I do. I don’t really want to slow my Monday to Fridays down but that has to mean that my weekends need to be more chilled.
I spend my week believing speed is of the essence so changing that outlook on the weekends is going to take some getting used to. Being slow is about relishing every minute which passes by and enjoying what they bring. When I think of slow I don’t think of running, but running is the sweetest form of meditation I know.
I don’t listen to music but my breath and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. I don’t run with a watch tracking my every heartbeat and footfall and I think that makes the start of my slow weekend perfect. I don’t need to know if my splits are negative or if I am faster / slower / the same as the last time I ran.
I also think of yoga and even though it’s been a long time since I last practiced, I might dedicate half an hour to stretching and foam rollering every weekend. Not only will this be good for my injuries but also help me to understand where exactly my body hurts and try to understand it a little better.Gardening is something I am truly embracing and it is the perfect way to be slow over the weekend. The garden in my new place is massive and the previous owners didn’t do any work to it since the contracts were exchanged. That was at the end of last year so it means there is a lot of work to do: trimming, repotting, cleaning, and general tidying. And now that most of the inside is unpacked (only a few boxes left to go) it’s time to concentrate on the outside.
Hours pass when I am in the garden and they are some of the best. Apple trees have been planted, the trees and roses trimmed, and all the beds have been cleared of last years’ leaves. There is still a little more work to be done before the garden can thrive with only slight maintenance – and I can’t wait. It’s hard work but I love being outside, being so involved with nature and having hands and nails covered in dirt (I really do!)
Spending so long in the garden with muddy hands also means I spend a lot of time away from my phone. I can usually spend hours on social media and emerge with the day half gone, bleary and tired. It’s not the content of other people’s posts which exhausts me – I love that – it’s the physical action of looking at a screen which does it. I want to embrace spending time away from computer and phone screens.
Something Alice does to embrace slow living is take a bath. Baths are the perfect way to spend time relaxing and slowing down. But not for me: I am not a bath person. I have never found that at all appealing and do think spending anything more than 10 minutes in a shower a massive waste of time and water. So for me, baths are out but the pampering routine after is something I love. I take my time plucking my eyebrows, moisturising my body, choosing the thickest most comfy socks to wear, and a book I want to read.Everything I think I need for a slow weekend is achievable and manageable. They all make me happy and help my mind to not race. They make Monday’s more appealing. I can survive that early morning alarm – I might even smile.