Rhythm as a means to a better life

french renovationsI heard it described that we should live our lives like music. There are many notes brought together but if there is no rest, it’s just a bunch of noise. Everything requires a certain rhythm to bring out the beauty. 

I won’t consider myself an expert by any means but I do think I’ve started to understand the concept.

It took a fair amount of trial and error and lots of self-reflection but I have said for the last 6 years that I wanted to live a slower life, one that was full, but not of busy-ness. If you watched me through the last 6 years, this might surprise you because most of it was busy and anything but slow, until now. 

A couple weeks ago I said we were examining our options for vacation and while we may have wanted to go away on holiday there was a need to recreate the rhythm of life at home. We needed to see old home reno projects progress and to invest in ourselves by being creative. It was a bit scary to tell you all about this plan because there’s this worry that we wouldn’t achieve what we set out to accomplish or that we’d feel like nothing really advanced how we imagined.

Things didn’t look like they’d get off to a good start when we saw the forecast was filled with rain. Somehow, we pushed through and worked in the yard, visited with friends and then moved onto painting, and writing and brainstorming, eventually getting to the renovations of the office; an open wound for longer than I’d like to admit. 

But now I can see the benefit of that one week. The sense of accomplishment, the sense of pride and the reminder of simple pleasures and working together. There’s something about slowing down and taking care of what you have, of reassessing and of the invigorating power of using your hands whether to labour around the house or to craft something that may or may not be beautiful when you’re finished. We felt this deep sense of rest being restored. Because yes, sometimes we’re just tired from doing what we must to get through the week instead of enjoying the pleasures of life and having a good dose of curiosity. 

The thing is, not everyone has a week, but I don’t think that’s a reason you shouldn’t hear me out. When I first started doing this, I wasn’t always afforded a week at a time but instead, I had moments. Often times it was in my hotel room on the road where I started working out or reading or a decision to try my hand at learning German when most of my other colleagues were watching TV. I think most of us need a moment to assess where we’re at. Many are bored and maybe it’s time to do things a little differently. To think about activities you don’t do anymore because you don’t think you have time but that you always loved and find a way to add as little as 15 minutes of it here or there every week just to bring more enjoyment into your life, to give you a rest from your daily routine. You might need to put down your phone or turn off your computer or television to make this work. The best part is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything (though maybe a little investment in yourself isn’t such a bad idea for some.) Maybe it’s a walk around the neighbourhood or dancing in the kitchen while you cook or painting a room in your house a new colour to brighten it up and make you enjoy what you have or going out with friends so you laugh a little more.  I think it’s important to look at your life and make even just slight changes to create a happier and healthier version of yourself.  

Does this idea of creating a better rhythm sound appealing? What is something that you loved to do growing up but you haven’t done in ages? I can’t wait to hear your stories.

slow living

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