last weekend we went on vacation in the Eifel- a forest about 2 hours SW of Marburg. It was a really lovely time of hiking in the woods, enjoying delicious food and spending time at the lake. Being together, and taking time out of our schedules and routine to slow down a bit.
Earlier this week (once we arrived home again and our routines had picked back up in full swing...) I read Notes from a Blue Bike, a new book by Tsh Oxenreider. This book had so much to say to me in my current stage of life and I felt like I learned something on every page. But perhaps the thought that has stuck with me the most in the past few days is the idea of slowing down.
I fully believe in movements such as slow food, or slow fashion (as evidenced on this blog). But if I'm honest with myself, I will often go through the motions (cooking meals from scratch, making my own salad dressing, knitting myself a garment, or mending clothing by hand) without actually slowing my mind down long enough to fully benefit from these actions. Though I've taken time in my schedule to "slow down", for me these tasks are often tacked onto the end of my to-do list. I check them off so that I can feel productive. So that I don't have to worry about not accomplishing anything in those moments.
But I am tired of feeling guilty because I have free time to spend with my husband, to read a book, or create something with my hands. I am tired of constantly running through the to-do list in my head- sometimes at the expense of the very real needs of others. I am tired of getting into bed at night and asking myself as I reflect on the day that's just passed, how productive it was.
I am trying to approach the time I have each day with gratitude and to savor each moment as it is given to me. To hold my routine, my goals and lists a little more loosely, so that I have time and space to notice and respond to the needs of those around me. To ride my bike without any particular destination, simply noticing the day as it unfolds around me.
I am trying to change the questions I ask myself as I fall asleep. Rather than how productive was I today? I'd like to ask things like:
Where did I find beauty in my routine?
How well did I love?
Did I enjoy this day as it was given to me?