Slowing Down in Our Fast-Paced Culture

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My phone alarm wakes me at 7AM on the button every weekday…. yet, I lay there for 30+ minutes hitting snooze. Hoping some how, magically, time will stop and let me enjoy the coziness of the covers just a few moments longer. By the time I finally pull myself out of bed …I now have less than an hour to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, pack my lunch, and get to the office building where I work downtown. This routine throws me in to a tumultuous day of what seems to be agonizing responsibilities and endless deadlines.

Does this sort of morning sound familiar to you?

Now, let me take responsibility and blame where it is evident… 1) it was my own fault for not getting out of bed when my alarm went off…and 2) getting to bed earlier the night before, would have most likely allowed me to feel more rested when 7AM came around…I can recognize that a lot of the moments of chaos I live out each day are caused by my own self-inflicted choices. I understand I have the power to make things work more easily…to be on time more frequently…to not feel so…RUSHED.

With that said.

The culture we live in has created monsters out of us. We crave more time and when we get it, we quickly fill it with another item on the ‘to do list’. There is a constant battle between the rest our spirit and soul so desires and where society places the bar of “success”. If we just make room for ONE more thing…perhaps we will reach it.

What good is crossing things off of our to-do lists when we can’t spare a second to revel the process?

This world of technology and innovation we live in is remarkable…yet we have made things so convenient and so “time-saving” that we find ourselves more often than not trying to fit it ALL in… ALL the time. Which in turn, is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that; we don’t really save time at all…and the question is, what is it we want to save time FOR? I believe it is important that we be more intentional with what we want to fill in to thoe blank “time saved” spaces in our lives.

It is hard to slow down in our fast paced culture because everyone around us is also zipping around at breakneck speed and we feel the need to keep up in order to survive. The bar has been set high and we are all clawing to reach it.

Tsh Oxenreider put it simply in her book Notes from a Blue Bike, “ I realized that unless our family made more intentional, proactive choices instead of constantly talking about wishing things weren’t so busy, we would go on forever wanting a different life.”

How true.

So the challenge is. How can we live slower, simpler and with more intention?

The answer to this question is different for everyone.

For me, personally, it is through photography. Photography is my way to capture moments with intention, moments when I slow down for a bit and focus, taking in all that is around me. I know that with a camera in hand all of my senses are engaged, I feel creative and aware of my surroundings. The beautiful thing is that photography captures a moment in time, a moment that could otherwise be forgotten.
I have also started to be more responsible for the choices I make, and the way I schedule my days. I know that I can’t all together ignore the “rules” that our culture has set. Although there are days I wish I could drop all responsibilities and live like a carefree 5 year old again… but I can make choices that work in my favor, by being more clever in the way that I schedule my weeks, and the way I choose to spend my time and energy. I have learned that saying “no” is OK, and stretching myself too thin can be avoided when I intentionally make decisions that keep my evenings from being too bogged down so I can enjoy them with my husband. Or, I can go to bed earlier so that waking up in the morning is more peaceful and less stressful. I can continue to trust in Him, our Lord, Jesus Christ, and know that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13.

We can choose our destiny, we can choose to live simply…more slowly…we can choose to live intentionally…we can choose to trust. 

XO Samantha

Samantha is the Managing Editor of Blogs by Christian Women. You can visit more of her
work at her personal blog, Samantha Elizabeth: A Lifestyle Blog.

This post is part of the Blue Bike Blog Tour, which I’m thrilled to be part of. To learn more and join us,  here.
Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. Grab your copy here. (Amazon affiliate link)