I'm not going to lie, I am secretly loving the slower pace of working from home. I love not having to rush out of the office because I have a limited time to find something to eat. I am loving not having to plan my meals in advance and actually take my time to prepare every single meal with love, rather than chopping whatever is in the fridge and shoving it down as quickly as I can because I have somewhere to be or a meeting to attend.
Again, it's the pressure and stress of the world we live and expectations we are supposed to meet that sometimes causes my anxiety. I forget to slow down; better yet, I don't know how to slow down. Ask me to do nothing for 24 hours and I struggle. I just can't do it. At some point I'll think 'yeah, that's enough chilling; let's vacuum the house'.
Part of the reason I had to book a stay in York at the end of July was exactly because I can't just 'be'. I always have to 'do'. And after months and months of living like this and not allowing yourself to relax, naturally you will burn out.
Seasonal eating is also helping me to slow down.
Yesterday afternoon, as I was returning from a work meeting, I parked my car like I always do and looked to my right, where I noticed so many wild blackberries ready to be picked. Blackberries season is normally the end of Summer / beginning of Autumn, but some of these blackberries were definitely ready to be picked from their branches.
I knew I had to come home to do some work; the to-do list was endless and especially after the meeting, it just kept getting longer and longer.
But in that moment, instead of panicking and rushing through the door, I just told myself 'you know what? I am going to take my time picking some of these gorgeous berries. Work can wait 10 minutes.'
This mindset, to me, has always been impossible to achieve. But yesterday I did it! And I couldn't be happier about it. I created a delicious salad for lunch and included some of the berries, but also some black olives, pineapple, tomatoes, basil and walnuts. I used the leftover dill dressing from a few days ago and even trying to get the walnuts open without a proper tool didn't stress me out. I had no anxiety attack for not being able to open a jar (throwback to 2019 me); I slowed down!
I don't know who else out there might need to read this, but if you can relate to anything I wrote, please take this as a reminder to sow down. Forget the pressure, forget the deadlines, forget the endless to-do list. You only live once. Stop, listen to the world around you (I mean, really listen!); listen to the wind, look at the trees, take a deep breath, appreciate the life you have and be thankful. Work can wait. Deadlines can wait 20 minutes. The world can wait.
I recently found out about a Youtuber/blogger named Kaetlyn Anne. She is the owner and creator of Calico and Twine, and her chilled, calming videos have really been eye-opening for me in how I have been living the ultimate stressful life for the past few years! There's something therapeutic about watching a video of yourself in the garden, picking berries, taking them inside, making jam from scratch, not wasting any food, and with a super chill background music that calms my anxiety.
Kaetlyn is all about working with your hands, harvesting, growing your own food and cooking from what you grow in your garden. And I love this concept of living simpler and softer, being intentional about what we bring into our home, what we consume, what we purchase, and where we purchase from. Living simpler and softer means turning away from the world's hurried pace and setting into a gentler rhythm that fosters peace, intention and fruitful harvests.
I love everything about this concept. I strongly believe I can learn so much from it, and I hope I can continue to incorporate slowing down to my routine and daily life. I need to get better at simple living, but I have no doubt in my mind that it is one of the most rewarding paths to happiness.
If you want to learn more about Kaetlyn:
Simple living is not something we arrive at or accomplish. It is something that we nurture throughout our entire lives.