On Slowing Down.

December 7, 2011

{is it just me, or do you want to be holed up in this sweet farmhouse right about now?}

I really, really love this time of year, however, it all feels so hectic at times.  Part of me wants to cozy up with my family in the house, reading, baking, making crafts, hanging out in our PJs all day.  But alas, there is too much to miss out on if we did that!

Finding that personal (and very elusive!) balance seems more important than ever.  I came across a nice quote by the owner of Rancho Gordo Beans in his December e-newsletter (of all places!)....

Time for my annual vow, here and now, to take it easy. The focus should be friends and food. Family, if you can cope with them. There's no prize for spending too much money on presents. There's no shame in obsessing about food and making it your tribute to the season. And there's no shame in just "checking out" if you have to.

I don't know why, but I like that a lot.  :-)

Then, I recently started receiving a daily email from a parenting site ("you can do it!!") and this particular one really resonated with me.  

You enjoy parenting most when you feel expansive and
flowing -- the way you feel when you're not under any
kind of pressure.

One of the most common pressures of modern life is
*time pressure*: having to be somewhere or do
something by a certain time. Young children naturally
live in the moment, not by the clock, so subjecting
them to time pressure usually leads to discord.

To reduce time pressure in your daily groove...
Decide that geniality (feeling good) is more
important than punctuality (being 'right').

Friends, I think I just had an a-ha moment.  The worst parts of the day for me (by far) are when I am feeling rushed to get the kids ready and out the door to be somewhere.  The reminder that feeling good is more important than being on time is so important!  And that means that if you know me in real life, I am probably going to be late more often.  ;-)  I am going to make getting places with my kids a happier process. 

Here's to enjoying the wrapping up of 2011 in the ways that have meaning for you and your family!  And also to letting go of the things that add more stress or frustration than joy and harmony.  xoxo 


  1. Love this! "...the way you feel when you're not under any kind of pressure." Ahhh. I always feel under pressure and it's only the pressure I place on myself. You're right. It's time to let go. thanks for the reminder!

  2. oooh i liked that last quote and completely agree. kids live in the moment and trying to pass off my neurotic tendencies to be on time isn't fair for them or the harmony in our family! thanks for the reminder ;)

  3. That's probably our biggest challenge. My kids run on their own clock and I am always late as it is. When you add in work, daycare, etc, it feels like I'm often yelling and rushing them. It's a hard balance when you do have to be places at certain times! I guess that's why I try to limit weekend activities- so we have "downtime" to just live in the moment and enjoy what comes.

  4. I love the philosophy of feeling expansive and flowing! Too often, I'm more tense and caught up in the days "to do" list even if that list includes things that should be carefree like birthday parties, etc. I'll be reminding myself of feeling good throughout the year and especially this month. :)

  5. love the quote, and i'm feeling the exact same way (your first paragraph :)). I wrote a 'book-of-a-post' about it... vowing to focus on what truly matters as a reminder to keep the traditions that work (that bring joy & meaning to myself & my family), and to say a fond FAREWELL to what does not.

    Cheers to wrapping up '11 in a positive way =).

  6. Oh, this resonated with me so deeply! I have been feeling so stressed today and caught up in a whirlwind of trying to do everything just right for this holiday. When really what I crave is to slow down and relish in the cozy time together. Your words really gave me the perspective I was craving. I so agree with the last part about taking my time with my son. When I try to force and move too quickly, both he and I get stressed. I like the idea of feeling good and seeking harmony. It would certainly make us both happier. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I needed to read that. I needed it at this very moment. Jen

  8. Lovely. Now if I could just unclench my jaw...


  9. yes, please send me directly to that snowy farmhouse. immediately. I'm with jbhat and the jaw clenching. but I do love these quotes. this holiday season is all upside down for us, the stresses (non-holiday) are immense, but --for better or worse-- the little one just won't be rushed. I need to get in that mindset, pronto.

  10. YES! I was just telling someone today that my family's goals for the holidays are to love, eat and love and eat some more. I'm trying to throw all that stress out this year. (And I'm completely signing up for that newsletter, pronto!)

  11. Wait a sec...the guy that writes the newsletter lives in my town!! Our daughters were in a dance class together a few years ago. More evidence that you are supposed to move up here, Jora! ;)

  12. Oops...guess he moved recently. But I swear he did live here! And I promise that is my last comment on this post. :)

  13. Both quotes are lovely. The first I'm going to steal as my December quote, as I try to focus on slowing my life down for the next five weeks in anticipation of my first born arriving in the New Year.
    In case I don't get another chance to say it "Happy Holidays to you and your sweet family Jora"

  14. It's been a tough time for me because I lost both my grandmother (expected) and my 31-year-old brother (unexpected) in the last two months. This holiday season feels, at times, excruciating. At other times, it seems to be flying by at lightening speed. The one thing that is anchoring me right now is the safety of knowing that I don't have to do it all this year. Thank you for this post. In a weird way, it provides permission to take it easy. *geniality*not*punctuality*. Perfect.

  15. Thanks for sharing that! Its soo true that when your rushing the kiddos out the door...they seem to pick up on that and even have meltdowns before leaving (at least in my case)...and then NOBODY is happy when we arrive, although we are on time, of course. I will keep this in mind!

  16. I LOVE this post Jora! This is such a great reminder/lesson for everyone (kids or no kids). Well done.

  17. Great post, Jora. Thanks for the gentle reminder and thanks for sharing my photo! My husband and I saw this house while on a walk in a small town in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I knew instantly I needed to capture its beauty.

  18. This is beautiful Jora. Thanks for the reminders. I don't have kids yet, but when I am pre-school teaching, that same thing applies- I know I'm at my best when I'm expansive and quit trying to push my own agenda. Happy Holidays :)

  19. wonderful jora!! so so true. i am actually working on my habits of trying to squeeze every last bit out of the holidays. always glad to know i'm not alone in this. xoxox elizabeth

  20. this is so good lady. pretty much exactly what i needed to hear right now, so thanks for that!


  21. Love the Rancho Gordo comment...it makes me feel justified to feel the same way :)

    Coming to ALT I hope?

    p.s. SVP DM me on Twitter the name of that parenting site...I may want to subscribe as well. Thanks!!

  22. HAHA! I sort of need the opposite, since I tend to live in the moment more than I ought to. I am late all too often and have vowed to learn how to flow on a *little* tighter schedule in 2012! No matter where we are, balance in life is ALWAYS the key. x


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