Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Pace of Life : An Alternative Way

It took me 20 minutes to take this picture.

To get it just right.  The lighting, the position.

That is the SOOC (Straigh-Out-Of-Camera) shot.  No Photoshop fixins'.

It was on a Saturday.  A precious day that I had no plans, and could indulge in whatever my heart desired.

I've been trying to 'schedule' a lot of those days here recently.  Days to do nothing.  To go wherever the wind takes me.

Trying to really have the mentality of slowing down.  Really stopping, and not trying to fill the empty space with more.

This dedicated break from the rhythm of life is required.  Just look at our history and the traditions we still maintain today.

Did you get together with friends or family for Christmas?  What about this summer, do you plan on taking a vacation or a day trip?  Humans need downtime in order to be completely fulfilled.  Special days and festivals give us a different quality of time from the daily grind of life.

We need rest, and relationships to feel…well human.

And as I try to buck the status quo, I'm realizing how difficult this idea of 'doing nothing' is.  I am constantly bombarded with this need to be productive.  To have an end-product.

This is a shift that has happened in our society recently, brought to my attention by a great book I just finished, Sabbath Time by Tilden Edwards.

"This driveness is deepened by what sociologists call the rapid shift from ascribed to achieved status in modern societies: the shift from sensing a givenness to who we are through family, religion, and community membership, to defining ourselves (and being defined by others) in terms of what we produce through whatever individual way of life this production of self and things may involve."

It's scary to think that we are constantly desiring to be productive.  That society has been so influential in molding us into these little assembly lines, constantly working without a break.

I think for our humanity we can afford to stop and take a breather.  My better half and I have done it and are reaping the benefits by the tons.  We aren't rollin' in the dough by any means, and our future (like everyone else) is unknown.  But the peace and contentment that fills our hearts and minds everyday is priceless.  Our quality of life is so rich, that I feel like we are millionaires.  Without all the drama.

Fight the shift, and take a breather.


Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

I love this- I really love it- I actually stepped down from a fairly high powered Real Estate career- the economy wasn't the only reason- it just made me pause long enough to take a good look. My boys are growing so fast- my oldest was in K and really needed me to homeschool him- (he's brilliant- lol) It was a fairly stressfull situation as several things conspired at the same time until I finally realized that God had been shouting at me to STOP & smell the roses & the stinky boys. By the time P started 2nd grade it was so in my face - obvious that I knew I'd keep the boys home for school. It was difficult to step away from the "popular" choices - especially in a small community - I got grief from my parents - but I don't regret it for a minute- we do lots of "stuff" but, it's when & what we really need or want & it matches up with what God has for us. I no longer have extra money rolling in- but God has been faithful to us & we live like kings on a very small budget! I have some stress - but it's just not the same- there is a peaceful easy feeling that goes with slowing down enough to hear God speak! sorry for the extra long comment but some of your posts really get me going! :) love it!

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

. . . and what a great shot of the adorable pup!

Uncle Tractor said...

Great photo. Dogs just seem to be able to disconnect and get comfortable. Amazing.

Tanja said...

Hi Laura,

And the most important question is... what's your doggies name?

I've been taking a lovely unplanned hiatus of simply letting myself "not do" for a while. There's been plenty of doing in it, but there's been some serious couch-laying and book-reading downtime going on. Great post!

Simplifying in the South said...

@ Kelli: Your extra long comments are always welcome!! I am so glad your family is able to not get caught up in this crazy rat race. What an awesome experience to be able to homeschool your children and be able to experience that with them. You can't put a price tag on that!

@Uncle Tractor: Thanks! I'm often jealous of a dog's life, they do have the ability to just relax.

@ Tanja: Her name is Mia. She is our baby :) So glad to hear you are practicing the art of doing nothing. It's so good for you!

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