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Quick Note: Slow Down

September 29, 2014

Featured Music: “Slow Down, Jo” by Monsters of Folk

October starts this week, and the days are getting noticeably shorter. The sky is getting drearier and my mornings are lacking that sun that usually percolates through my blinds.

I’m not going back on anything I’ve already said – although it’s dreary, I can’t help but adore everything about it. A certain beauty is suspended in the air right now, a beauty that is nonexistent in the wild and irrational days of summer.


 

When you’re given a huge bowl of candy, you usually plow through it mindlessly because you know you have such a big bowl. When you’re given a tiny square of high quality dark chocolate, you nibble at it because you want to savour every morsel you have. That dark chocolate is autumn for me – this should be autumn to you, too. I see a lot of people roll their eyes at my passion for the season – “You know what comes right after this, right?” Yes, Winterpeggers. I’ve been here as long as you have. And it happens every year.

However, if I know what lies around the corner (Yay, -50!) – why wouldn’t I relish in this season as much as possible? Have you taken a look outside? When is the last time you’ve seen yellows like these! I walked down my street a few evenings ago and dry leaves burst under my shoes and the air carried a smouldering aroma and the wind blew all the colours around the pavement. Amazing. I actually had to stop. And take it in! Unheard of.

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I’d like to learn to take this sentiment that has me absorbing these moments so well and apply it to the rest of the year. But how, fellow modern day humans? I thought about it.

We need to be more present. It’s so easy in this day and age to be distracted by shiny things and cat videos (I promise that this is something I will never, ever understand) and sometimes we forget the moment in which we currently reside – then it’s gone. We need to focus on the beauty of now. Focus on the beauty of dinner with friends, conversation with family. Focus on your environment.

Unplug. God I am bad for this. Guilty. But I am getting better, and I want to get way better still. When you are constantly at the mercy of your mobile device, you are constantly at the mercy of others, and their demands, and their worries. Emails can wait. I used to sleep with my phone plugged in right next to my head. Now I put it on ‘airplane mode’ in another room – I’m starting small – it seems silly but it’s nice to feel disconnected, if only for a while.

Disconnect with a device, reconnect with literature. With another human.

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I went to see Art Garfunkel perform the other night and at the beginning of the show they asked the audience to turn off their phones and put them away. Not on vibrate, not on silent, OFF. No flashing lights, no buzzing, no recording, nothing. I was daydreaming over how this probably would have seemed like such a space-age request when Simon & Garfunkel began their career five or so decades ago…

Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobble-stones, lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy, feeling groovy

Seek pleasure in what isn’t convenient. Everything in 2014 (and from now on) is smaller, sleeker, faster, neater, easier. Find beauty and complexities in the long way home. Whether your mode of transportation is on foot or by car. Appreciate a good car ride. Take in the sights and sounds of a longer walk. Breathe.

This might be why I enjoy cooking so much. Savouring in the steps of creating something is better than unwrapping a package and pressing a button (not only for your health, but for your mind & soul). Being mindful of your food and its flavours opens up a whole new level of appreciation for ‘the little things’. Putting your phone in another room and sharing a meal with others is even better.

Mung bean noodles are SO good. As-spicy-as-I-can-handle tofu stirfry for strep.

 

I understand we live in a fast paced world, and yes, it is certainly necessary at times.

Life speeds by – and before we know it, it’ll be behind us – let’s hope those memories in our rear view aren’t blurred and lit up by blue artificial cell phone light. Let’s make them rich and vibrant and vivid. Let’s not make life quicker than it needs to be.

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