Have you ever felt the need to turn off, slow down and just take a deep breath and center yourself? I do sometimes. Even though I couldn't get along without my cell, laptop and cable tv, it's nice to get away from all of it for a day or two, or even for just a few hours. I know it's hard sometimes because a lot of us use these things for work and school and keep tabs on your kids. But just try a day at a time every so often, it really is nice to not always be plugged in. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday afternoon when I have no other obligations is to cook or bake all afternoon, either to eat that night or freeze for another time. While I'm cooking I like to watch old black and white movies on TCM.
Another way to slow down is to eat a leisurely meal with your family. When I was growing up we always ate dinner, a home cooked meal, together as a family at 5:30 every evening. I kept that up while my son was growing up also, even though eventually it was just me and him, we ate together at the table most of the time. Of course when he became a teenager and was involved in sports and hanging out with his friends it wasn't always possible, but I tried to make sure we ate together a couple of times a week. To sit down with your family or friends to eat a home cooked meal at a leisurely pace with lots of conversation and laughter is priceless.
Have you heard of Slow Food? In Italy, in 1986 Carlo Petrini founded the Slow Food movement as an alternative to fast food and to preserve tradional and regional foods and encourage farmers to grow food native to their region. They also advocate forming seed banks to preserve heirloom crops, make people aware of the dangers and problems with factory farming and agribusiness. It also encourages people to buy local, buy organic and if possible to grow some of your own food.
The Slow Food movement is about taking the time to make your own, homemade food with fresh, local and ethical products. It's about sitting down, connecting with your family and friends, eat good, healthy food and taking the slower path. I think it is also about saving our artisanal foods and local businesses. Another advantage to eating local is the food travels less miles, is fresher and lessens it carbon footprint.
Slow Food has many, many chapters. There is a Slow Food International, Slow Food USA and quite a few cities and states have their own chapters. Also, many other countries have chapters also. You can find one near you by looking online. Wikipedia has a lot of information you may want to look into. In my opinion, if you try the Slow Food lifestyle, you might find others ways of slowing down your life, of appreciating the small things, and taking the time to really look around you and notice all the wonderful things there is in life.
I really like the idea of this and it makes a lot of sense, but it's not something that I can change overnight. I have to "lean" into it, take small steps. I already buy eggs that come from a farm a couple of hours away, where the chickens are raised humanely, on pasture and aren't treated with antibiotics or hormones. They also come in a container that is recyclable. Yes, I pay a little more for them, but to me it is worth it and I believe they are better for me than conventional eggs. I also only buy honey at the farmer's market that is local. It is said that local honey is good for your allergies because you can build up a tolerance for the plants that the bees feed on. Also, I have seen news stories that conventional honey can have more stuff in it than honey. And most importantly, I buy wine from a fairly local winery! I plan on incorporating more local foods into my pantry as time goes on.
I hope this has given you some food (haha) for thought. Maybe you'll try to start taking life a little slower, watch the geese fly overhead, notice the flowers when they start blooming in the spring, cook a meal and sit down with the people you care about, eat slowly and enjoy.