Let’s get one thing on the table right away. This blog is not going to be about me following the wind to the local farmer’s market, where my stunningly colorful and unplanned purchases turn out to be just right for cooking a simple and fresh meal for the neighbors (who, of course, dropped by unannounced for an al fresco dinner in my olive grove). It’s not going to be about fresh bread, baked daily in a stone oven and slathered with the butter I made from my own cow’s milk. It’s not going to be about sewing my own clothes or lasting my own shoes. If that’s the only way you imagine slow living, you’re not going to find it here. There are people out there who do all that and more, but it’s not my life.
For starters, I don’t have an olive grove. I live in Los Angeles in a space that’s not quite a townhouse, but also not quite a normal house. It has a view of the mountains, but there’s a whole lot of sprawling city between here and there. I do go to the farmer’s market, but I also like takeout chicken wings. I regularly ask Siri to do basic arithmetic for me. I sometimes even order household goods from Amazon (but to be fair, I feel guilty about it.)
This is all to say, I’m not exactly the poster child for the kind of slow living utopia that appears in magazines and online. My life is no more inspirational or aspirational than any of yours. And yet…here I am
I’ve been microblogging about slow living on Instagram for more than a year now, and those who know me will inform you I’ve been talking about it to anyone who will listen for a lot longer than that. Despite my less-than-perfect life, I’m a firm believer that the benefits of the slow life can be had even by those of us who aren’t living amongst lavender fields or growing our own stone fruit.
Here are the truths behind this blog.
1. Life should be beautiful. No matter where we live or how much money we have, we should have moments of tranquility and moments of awe and moments where our hearts feel full every single day—and we probably would if we stopped being too busy to notice them.
2. Sustainability is non-negotiable. You know what the opposite of sustainability is? It’s not being able to go on. Sustainability isn’t just a vague proposition about being better environmentalists. It’s about our continued ability to live our lives at all.
3. Everyone is creative. I can’t tell you how many people have looked at something I’ve made and said, “I don’t know how you do this. I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” My response is always, “Of course you do,” because I absolutely know it to be true. Not only does creativity come in a lot of different forms, it also gets stronger the more you practice it.
Slowing down, living more intentionally, and approaching each day with mindfulness are the keys to happiness, but I don’t believe you have to be living a storybook life to make those things work for you. At least, I hope not, because if you do, I might as well quit right now.
Spoiler…I’m not going to. And neither should you. Stick with me, and we’ll figure it out.