2019 was possibly the busiest year of my life. Apold Apothecary had become a successful business and I was starting to sell wholesale, online and at artisan markets and other events almost every weekend (aswell as working five days a week)
I found myself working for a circus, in that I was constantly juggling. Along with trying to make Apold a success I was working for the family business and working alongside my daughter on her magazines. I was partly looking after my mother and trying to write a book. It became obvious that something had to give, as my health began to suffer. I was always proud to say I was the best multi tasker in the family and now I see how foolish I was!
Returning from our trip to Transylvania, last summer I said to the other half ‘we are going to change our lives and live a more simple and slower pace of life’ So did we do that? You can probably guess the answer was, no, we didn’t. We carried on the way we were, rushing around, working a seven day week until the end of the year.
For the past few years whenever we returned from staying in Apold I have said the same thing, but it has taken me several years to embrace a slower pace and to enjoy the little things in life. Living in Apold epitomises ‘slow living’. Most of the houses have huge gardens and orchards and the people live off the land. Horse and carts are still used as a means of getting from one place to another and for transporting hay from the flower filled meadows. Absolutely idyllic.
But for obvious reasons it’s not a life that can be led here back home!
So what exactly is ‘slow living’ that everyone is talking about? For me, it has meant making several changes that have enabled me to slow down mentally and physically.
Yes, I still have days when I am quite busy, but I now have days when I can embrace slow living. For me, that means finding pleasure in the things that I do and learning to say ‘no’. Once you have started to say ‘no’ it becomes quite easy!
Basically the slow movement is a cultural shift towards slowing down the pace of life. It means being conscious of whatever you are doing and trying to enjoy it more. It doesn’t mean becoming lazy, but maybe trying to do less. Here are a few ways in which I am trying to embrace this lifestyle.
I’m big on making lists and then I love ticking jobs off when they are completed. Now I still make the lists, but if something has to be put off, that’s fine, as there’s always another day. I have learnt to be more selective in what I have to achieve each day.
I focus on being with the people that I want to spend time with. I will make the time to be with those whose company I enjoy and that always includes my family.
Disconnecting from technology is a difficult one for me. But I have certain times of the day that I’m not allowed to go near my phone, computer or I Pad!
I’ve always had an affinity for nature and it continues to inspire my business. I try and take a short walk daily in a nearby park. I find peace and quiet sitting in the garden, looking around me and appreciating my surroundings. The variety of colour in the changing of the seasons brings me happiness.
I cook from scratch as much as I can using seasonal produce. I like to know where my ingredients have come from and to ‘shop local’ when possible. As a family we try and live sustainably and make decisions that minimise environmental impact. I can honestly say that I have not used plastic shopping bags for at least ten years. I have usually made my own fabric tote bags and I give them as gifts too.
I love a good rummage in a charity shop and in the past have come across some incredible bargains. I do not always buy new from shops.
Basically I’m just aiming to be more selective with things in my life and remove those aspects (within reason) that cause unnecessary stress. One day at a time though. Give it a go and let me know how you get on!