Day 308 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

While I was out walking today I went past a commercial building surrounded by gardens looking a bit worse for wear. I remember a time going back about 8 years when this was the best building to go walking past because it had no fence and one could walk up a couple of steps and smell the beautiful roses and flowers they grew in the garden.

I often stopped to smell flowering vines, annuals and of course … the roses.

Today, the few surviving roses that I could see through the wire fence, looked sad and down trodden as if they were crying out to be rescued from the grounds of this building. There have not been annuals here for years and whereas there were once  gardeners swarming all over the place on a regular basis, there may be one gardener now and he is only mowing the lawn and cleaning up.

Wearing gloves was the done thing when I was young

As I walked further along I pondered the changes that had taken place here, but I also wondered about the changes that had taken place all over this country and indeed the world. For one: fewer people are employed to do the same job in the workplace. And what about other areas of our lives?

As a society, we seem to dress more casually, we do not wear stockings and what about the days when we wore gloves … or am I going back too far now? As Geoff and I sat down for our morning tea, we mourned the loss of the beautiful grounds of the building down the street and in a way we mourned the loss of our shared ‘good old days.’

Am I imagining it, but does this somehow seem to be linked to the frantic nature of our society today?

Time is our problem now. No one has any time. If you look at the weekend papers, they are full of things to do on the weekends, where to go, what to do, in other words, how to fill in time. But do any of us know how to stay at home and do nothing much?

I wonder about our future. Will the generations to come somehow see what they have been missing and become part of the new “Slow Movement” that is gathering momentum at the moment? When people are so stretched I am not surprised at this.

But do not fear folks, it would seem that there is a lot to be said for this SLOW MOVEMENT! There is plenty of information about it online and in fact, it has been something that I have been aware of for some time. I am trying to slow myself down but sometimes it feels like a losing battle. Here is what I found at The-Slow-Movement:

“A recession is the perfect time to escape the vicious circle of speed which took over our lives, proclaim the ‘Slow Movement’ gurus. The Slow Revolution drips into all areas of live and there is talk about Slow Food, Slow Living, Slow Travel and Slow Sex.”

Hey … let’s slow down a moment here and look at this! Do you see that: SLOW FOOD, SLOW LIVING, SLOW TRAVEL and don’t miss this one but lets whisper … slow sex.  Let’s do it folks (no, not sex but all of it). Let us take notice of this slower way of living. Perhaps if we were to slow ONE thing down, what would that thing be? Hmmm I’m not sure about this one. Food perhaps?

Moving right along for the moment, this is what the The Slow Movement  website says:

“Their philosophy (SLOW) is very plausible: In modern life we are cramming as much as possible into every minute and race through live at the cost of health, relationships and the environment. But slowing down in awareness of the preciousness of every minute of our limited lifetime can help us to make our lives more enjoyable and sustainable.”

Now, doesn’t this make a whole lot of sense? I am trying to find Wonder in my life and I can only do this when I take a deep breath and attend to what psychologist call “mindfulness” eg being aware of the things around you without spending time thinking of all you have to do. Being in the present moment eg like smelling the roses.

And then today, whilst doing my research, I came across this great website called Slow Down Now which is a great place to find a laugh and learn to slow down at the same time. Here is their Slow Manifesto:

“There are those who urge us to speed. We resist! We shall not flag or fail. We shall slow down in the office, and on the roads. We  shall slow down with growing confidence when all those around us are in a shrill state of hyperactivity (signifying nothing). We shall defend our state of calm, whatever the cost may be … we shall never surrender!”

I loved it and I joined up immediately to be part of the emails that may arrive very slowly and require that I do absolutely nothing at all! In keeping with all this slow talk, I will leave you with another snippet from Slow Down Now just to make you smile:

“Some are born to slowness—others have it thrust upon them. And still others know that lying in bed with a morning cup of tea is the supreme state for mankind.”

Don’t you just love it? One simply has to be part of something this good. SLOW DOWN folks and smell the roses … that is if you can find a rose that actually smells these days.