I’m living the SLO Life… that’s my new motto… to slow down and not be so busy.
I used to live in SLO town – San Luis Obispo, California and it truly felt like that. There weren’t any drive through restaurants. They wanted people to not be in such a hurry. Stores closed early and it was a sleepy college town. On Thursdays, the downtown turned into a Farmers Market and the students and families and townspeople would gather and stroll and visit and socialize. It was so much fun. There was a sense of calm to the city that I love and miss.
But I’m bringing the feeling back to Sunnyvale. I’m living the SLO life and slowing down, if that’s even possible. I just don’t want to be busy just to be busy. I don’t want to be bored and I also don’t want to be running around from task to task, responsibility to responsibility, from practice to practice, from meeting to meeting. It’s kinda like the feeling you get with clutter, where you need to free some open space because every nook and cranny is stuffed… that’s how I feel with life. I need some more open minutes to breathe and rest and to have more meaningful time without the rush.
I’m still busy and don’t think I can ever sit really still, but I’m slowing down my way, by not trying to do 101 things at once. For example, today I went to yoga and then to the Asian market to gather special ingredients to cook some new Thai dishes that I’ve never made before. I wanted to learn something new and make Rad Na, a dish that my kids love. I wanted to spoil them and make a family meal.
This brings me joy. That was it. That was all I really had to do today. I cooked a couple new dishes and cleaned up all the mess. I had a list that had several other items on it, but nothing else was really a priority.
By having open space on my calendar and by being home, I had time to talk with my mom on the phone for an hour. I wasn’t busy. I could cook and wash dishes and chat. It was an unexpected gift.
This afternoon when I picked the kids up from school, the house was orderly and I had time to sit and listen about their day. I was able to help Charlie focus on his homework and sit next to him and read. When he was tired and feeling sick and not wanting to go to soccer practice, I let him be. And we sat longer on the couch and read and snuggled. Because he said I liked doing that. I wasn’t busy. I wasn’t rushed. I wasn’t pushing him. And the space created peace and rest.
Juliana and I had time to work together on a project because dinner was already prepared and no one else needed anything. I didn’t have to say no, I’m busy. I got to proactively say yes. I got to be present and helpful and had unexpected time shared with my daughter.
I chose to skip my meeting tonight because there were too many conflicts. It was hard to say no and to cancel, but it was what was best for my family tonight. And because there was no conflict, we all got to sit down to a candle lit dinner and enjoy hearing about Juliana’s trip, Christian’s cross country meet, and Charlie’s math songs. Tonight there was time to focus on the important things in life. We did it. We created it and made it our own. Living the SLO life… today until tomorrow?!?