This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Of Slow Living And Rocky Starts
January was not conducive to slow anything. There was all the usual startup of new projects, for example our neighborhood mailboxes got taken out by a car on a snowy Christmas Eve and apparently I was the only one annoyed enough by the lack of mail delivery to orchestrate the install of a new mailbox setup. (Which is way more complicated than you’d think.)
If you follow me on social media you’ll know that we also got a new puppy. The thing about puppies is you completely forget just how much work they are until they’re in the house destroying something, or pooing on the floor the minute you turn your back to pour a cup of coffee.
Don’t even get me started about the rest of the month. Let’s just say: it’s been packed.
And Lessons Learned
But of course failure and difficulty are where we learn best. If I’d had a perfectly smooth easy January then this update would have looked awesome but I wouldn’t have anything to share with you all but bragging. And there’s more than enough of that going around.
Instead I’ve got some things I’ve learned, or at least remembered, because I seem to have to learn things multiple times for them to really stick.
The World Won’t End if I Stop Running
Number one is probably pretty obvious but who doesn’t need this reminder? So I stopped doing pretty much any work on anything when the puppy showed up. Two weeks later I’m finally into enough of a rhythm with him to write this post, but that’s about it. And you know what? The world didn’t end.
The house is still habitable, if a bit messy.
We ate every day.
You all are still here, even without me hammering away daily.
And in general life just goes on, despite the fact that I wasn’t “at the wheel” the whole time. This is an important one, because we tend to think that if we take even a few hours off the wheels will come off the bus and disaster will strike. But it generally doesn’t. Whew.
I am a planner. Which means I’ve got articles for this site planned out months in advance. And this month as I was writing articles I just could not write a word on one post. And I realized after a lot of beating myself up, that it was busywork. I didn’t actually care about the topic I’d chosen, I didn’t have a thing to say. And yet I felt obligated to do it because I’d planned it. Y’all, I trashed that sucker.
Just because we’ve planned something, just because it’s on our todo list doesn’t mean it’s actually worth doing. I’m not passionate about that topic, I don’t have anything to say. So instead of writing something because I feel I have to I’m going to let it go. I’ll encourage you all to read something I’ve done that I actually care about instead, because that makes way more sense.
We don’t all have the freedom I do here, but we’ve all got busywork on our calendars that we don’t actually have to do. Most of us have convinced ourselves that we do, and it’s time to start cutting that shit out. The world needs our passion, not our obligation.
Sometimes Things Don’t Go To Plan
Intention matters more than anything. I planned slow mornings, and intentional days. It didn’t always happen. Now, I could beat myself up about that. I could feel depressed that slow living wasn’t going well, or that my slow living experiment was failing. But the truth is that plans are just that: an intention we set, a road map. Often the don’t happen exactly as we’d like. We can get all wrapped around the axel about that, or we can roll with it.
For me, slow living is about a mindset. It’s about focusing on the stuff that matters, letting go of perfection, and readjusting my goals. So when things don’t go as planned (like my slow morning gets turned upside down by the needs of a small furry beast) it isn’t the end of the world, it’s an opportunity.
How has your January gone my friends? What lessons did it teach you and what wisdom can you share with us?