Slowing down. Something we’re countlessly told to do but seldom have the opportunity to do. There’s always things to do, stuff to buy and work to be done.
I find myself having the most freedom I’ll probably ever have, my time and my money are my own (and I’m so grateful for that) but as the days pass I’m noticing that more and more responsibility is being handed to me.
That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to review ‘SLOW’ when I heard about it. Brooke McAlary had similar ideas about slowing down her life but is one of the few people who actually achieved this (surprisingly arduous) task. Then, like anyone with a new idea in this modern age, started a podcast documenting her experiences. The podcast ‘Slow Home’ has become award-winning- it has over two million downloads and the her website gets over 45 000 visits a month. McAlary’s new book ‘SLOW- Live Life Simply’ is a companion piece that’s been described as part memoir, part practical guide.
A few year ago, Brooke McAlary was like all of us trying to make it in this hectic world. She was a doting wife and busy mum and had all the trimmings of perfection, cars, holidays and home renovations. Despite this, McAlary felt lacking in satisfaction. Now, I’m sure we’ve all felt this way before and often the remedy is to become busier and buy more things. In fact, I felt this way a few weeks ago and booked a holiday with my boyfriend that same week.
Instead of the standard solution, McAlary and her family decided to slow things down and change their way of living. They started to declutter and remove excess from their life, in one year they removed over 20 000 piece from their home. It wasn’t just a material expulsion but also a change from the business of life. McAlary makes a point of saying that it’s not a removal from society or a neglect from responsibility but rather it’s about focusing on what you and your family find important in your life and putting time and effort into doing just that. Weekends, once overrun with birthday parties for children you hardly know or sports your child cannot stand, are replaced with quiet weekends at home with the children and the mobile off.
I’ve only just started this book but I’m finding it excessively serendipitous with my life at the moment. I appreciate what McAlary says about this being a lifestyle and not a sudden change. It takes time and experimentation to make it work.
A truly fascinating read!