I’m ready to share: my “one word” for 2010 is SLOW. In a world obsessed with speed and productivity, I choose SLOW. I want to slow down and savor the life God gives me before it passes me by. Don’t we all hear from women in the next life stage that time just zips by before you know it? I remember talking with my sister-in-law long before I even had the boys and she commented that she tried to really savor each stage her kids were in while they were in it. That’s something that I’ve tried to remember as we’ve gone through the sleepless nights, tantrums, potty training, cranky attitudes…it’s hard for me to treasure the moments we have rather than wishing for the next life stage (or the last one!) It’s definitely a constant struggle. But I have to remember that God calls me to be thankful in everything.
I’ve already spent two and a half years cutting back my schedule, my priorities, the pace of my life, but I still find myself wishing I had time for __________, or looking back on the month or year I’m finishing and thinking it’s too bad that I never got around to doing something I really valued or seeing someone I really needed to see. How is it that I allow the little tedious tasks and the meaningless appointments and activities to take place of the things I really want to do? It reminds me of the apostle Paul in Romans 7 lamenting that he does not do what he wants to do, but is always doing what he doesn’t want to do. We are a fallen world, aren’t we? But I know there are steps I can take to move my life closer to the life that I want to live.
Enter SLOW: Do you remember when I discovered the idea of Slow Parenting? It just spoke to me on a heart level. Slow Parenting was about connecting with our kids not just through the fallacy of quality time, but through investing a large quantity of time in the people and activities that are the most important. It’s about putting aside the things that don’t matter and fully living in the things that do. And as it turns out, slow parenting was just the beginning.
There is a whole movement out there embracing Slow Living. I had heard of the slow food movement (Yes! That’s right up my alley!) and I had already experienced the peace that comes from slowing one’s pace of life, but Slow Living was new to me. As a christian, it feels just right. It’s all about making meaningful and purposeful connections in our lives. And although it’s a very secular movement, it fits right in with what Jesus lived…keeping priorities straight and living out those priorities. To me, SLOW is about casting all excess aside and paring down to make time for what really matters. And there is always room for growth. So here are my top priorities for 2010, the year of slow:
- connecting with God
- connecting with family
- connecting with the christian community (local and global)
- connecting with the needy and the oppressed (local people and global issues)
- connecting with my food (responsible, natural, humane eating)
- connecting with place (my community and God’s earth)
- connecting with my joy
I’ll share more about each one in the coming months. I love the idea of mindful living. Just as I spent the month of October this year, I plan to spend the year of 2010 paring life down to the essentials, rejecting the notion that in order to live a meaningful life I need to be constantly moving, producing, adding more in. This year I’m taking it SLOW.