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The Slow Project

The Slow Project

As I wrote about last week, I have been trying to slow down, to stop and enjoy all the things that I have been missing as I speed through my days while constantly plugged in via cell phone, facebook, twitter, or email.

Since the response was so great to that posting, I realized that maybe I wasn’t the only one with the same problem. So, I decided to embark on a little adventure and report on my progress on each of the ideas I talked about, along with what I have learned along the way, and possibly add some other ideas and tips I get along the way.

I got this idea by following fellow Care2 contributor, Michelle Schoffro Cook’s “Kindness Revolution.”

I am also asking that you join me in my quest to slow down the pace of your life and see what you learn along the way. Just as Michelle has asked, I am asking that if you’d like to slow down and join the slow movement, please comment here and share with others what you have learned along the way.

So, I started with the first item on my “slow” list: “Take time to relax every day!” It doesn’t have to be for hours at a time. Even 5 or 10 minute “mini-breaks” spread out over the course of the day can make a big difference. Let’s see how I am doing with this one.

This has been hard for me to do every day for a week, since there never seems to be enough hours in a day and there are so many things I want to do on top of those I have to do. And, since I do work that I love so much, I don’t always think of it as work and somehow think it’s okay to just keep going since that’s not really “breaking the slow rules.”

But, I kept making myself stop to breathe and walk away from the desk or the chore or whatever I was doing. I started by walking out to the garden to take in the sights and sounds of nature. However, I realized when I did this, I felt compelled to weed, prune, or fertilize and for me, it wasn’t relaxing. That’s why I switched to sitting on the front porch to start on the big stack of magazines that I have been saving for when I “have time.”

And I have to admit, with each day I started to make a conscious effort to just stop for a bit, has not only made me more aware of what I am doing, but it has made me start to realize what I have been missing in my rush and desire to fill my days. For example, I took the time to go with my dad for a walk along the beach. Not only did I slow down for it, I also got exercise in, something I also seem to forgo in my frantic pace.

It has even been noticeable to other people. When I went to my farmers’ market on Tuesday, I stopped to say “hello” to one of my favorite farmers like I do every week. But, I usually rush by on my way to the next item on my to-do list. This time, I lingered a bit longer and asked him about his day, his farm and his ballroom dancing, and he even said, “Hey, thanks for spending so much time chatting with me today.”

I enjoyed reconnecting so much with people in my life that I made a “date” to meet a friend at the local botanic garden for lunch and to enjoy the rose garden while it is still in bloom. This was part of my goal to take a bigger relaxation break at least once a week by going to observe nature at a local garden or park.

This week, I have a lunch date with a friend who is more over-committed than I am and volunteers more than I do. It has literally taken us about six months to make the time. We have made a pact that there will be “no note taking, to-do lists, or volunteering, just fun!”  I will let you know how we did and if we managed to stick to our pact.

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
6:04PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Thanks for Sharing :)

12:53PM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Thank you Judi, for Sharing this!

1:42AM PST on Jan 11, 2013


9:20AM PST on Dec 31, 2012

worth considering

1:50PM PST on Dec 29, 2012


1:49PM PST on Dec 29, 2012


8:26AM PST on Dec 28, 2012

You are incredible!!! Thank you so much for this inspiration; I, too, need to take a break once in a while, and the reminder of being more connected and fulfilled with life is very much appreciated. I look forward to reading your future posts! :)

8:03PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

Thanks for sharing - I live a very hectic life as well, often trying to do things I want to do on top of all those that I HAVE to do! Even my relaxing doesn't happen fully, as I'm either cleaning or doing chores or on my laptop while I watch TV! I think I need to go out a bit in nature too - as I don't like gardening I will have absolutely no desire to prune, weed or fertilise anything :D

11:37AM PST on Dec 26, 2012


5:33AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

Thanks Judi for sharing the reminders.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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