We live in an incredibly fast-paced world. One where everyone’s in a constant rush to get errands done, survive the workday/week, hurry to where they need to be, etc. Everyone looks ahead to the next thing they must do and forgets to appreciate the now. Heck, do you know how often we hear, or even say, “I cannot wait for the weekend. I just need to get through this week.” I would say several times a day, every single day. And, I’ll admit, I make this statement a few times a week. My question is: Why? Why do we want to rush through five days to enjoy two? Why do we want to wish our lives away?
I think we need to enjoy all seven days, living slowly and making every moment count. What I mean by living slowly, is I want to slow down my lifestyle and enjoy every moment, including the 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. job, working out, sitting at my favorite coffee shop with a delicious coffee. I’m striving to get the most out of my time, going from checking off a task to gaining valuable experiences. I’m learning to stop at various moments of the day to collect myself and appreciate my surroundings. This living slowly is a perspective I learned from the minimalist lifestyle.
There’re many misconceptions surrounding minimalism. Many people believe it’s living with the absolute bare minimum, like one pair of shoes, pants, shirt, towel, etcetera. Some people even go to the extreme and say minimalists can only own one spoon, fork, and knife. I’m not kidding. I’ve genuinely seen comments or heard remarks about it.
Minimalism isn’t about “living with the absolute bare minimum.” Yes, minimalists live with what they need (which may be a step above the bare necessities because why own more than you need?), but it’s about much more than that. It’s about appreciating what you have but not being bogged down or owned by your possessions. It’s about slowing down and making the most out of every moment.
I’ll also confess that I did not have this slow living mentality until recently. Rather, I was in this rushed lifestyle all through college. I made a checklist of everything I had to do in a day — class, study, lunch, class, work, workout, dinner, sleep — and I went through the day checking my tasks off as fast as I could so that I could move on to the next thing. I forgot to appreciate each moment of every day. That needed to change, and that is something I’ve been working on for a few weeks. (And, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write about it. I allude to this living slowly concept in my last blog post about the journey versus the destination.)
Even when work gets a bit overwhelming, I make it a point to appreciate that I even work there because it’s an amazing opportunity for me and digital marketing is remarkable. When I struggle through a workout, I look around and am thankful I have the ambition and ability to exercise. When I’m laying in bed and the sunlight shines through and illuminates the room, I just have to stop and acknowledge this moment. And, of course, when I go to a coffee shop (like I do every week…), I relish in the savory coffee and coffee shop aesthetic.
Just because we live in a fast-paced society and work in a face-paced environment, that doesn’t mean we can’t stop to recognize a great moment and reflect on our lives. Yes, it’s okay to drive in the fast lane, but we also should take the slow lane every once in a while. You may not get where you’re going as fast, but you’ll enjoy the ride a lot longer and get more out of the journey we call life.