My focus this week is on simplicity and living a slow life.
Maybe it’s the season – the cooler weather of Fall. Or perhaps it’s the sense that the earth is about to go to sleep, in a sense, that makes me want to change my pace as well. I just have this strong desire to slow down and simplify life.
Last week, I mentioned that my wellness challenge for October is to knit every day. Coincidentally, a few planner babes on Instagram are hosting a bit of celebration for I Love Yarn Day which is on the 10th. To participate, we’re encouraged to create a spread this week that is knitting or yarn themed. I didn’t have any stickers that would work. Fortunately, one of their suggestions was to take a picture of a current project or favourite yarn and make a sticker out of it. So, that’s what I’ve done here. I just resized the photos and printed them out on sticker paper.
I started knitting about eleven years ago. When I first started, I just had this strange desire to knit a baby blanket. I bought a Learn-to-Knit kit for kids, watched a few tutorials, and was soon on my way. I knitted a blanket and gave it to the only person I knew who was expecting – a friend of my sister. After that, the urge to knit remained, so I started knitting another baby blanket. Soon after, I learned I was pregnant with our first child.
Knitting since then has been a bittersweet experience.
I loved the end result but found the process to be frustrating most of the time. I imagined myself curled up in a chair, leisurely knitting, while watching a movie with the family. That was hardly the reality. Often times, I would be trying to concentrate on a pattern, get distracted or interrupted, lose my place or make a mistake and have to start over. It was far from relaxing!
So why continue and why pick this hobby as a wellness challenge? Having a slow and simple mindset now, I intentionally choose simpler knitting projects. I’ve also adjusted my expectations and will knit only a few rows a day. I also look at this endeavour as an opportunity to practice slowing down.
Another area in which I’m slowing down and simplifying is in our homeschool.
Last week, I mentioned that our family will be returning to homeschooling after our experience with online learning through our public school. I think, in the past, I wasn’t very committed to homeschool. I took it year by year but anticipated that, at some point, they would return to public school full-time. With my youngest being kindergarten age this year, it seemed like this was the year that they all went off to school.
I think that attitude impacted the approach I took to homeschooling. I had a sense of urgency because I wanted to be sure that they learned everything they would need for that grade. That way if they had to return to school for the following grade then they wouldn’t be behind. I think we did well with that, except for French which I completely forgot about. However, I was stressed a lot and probably pushed on at times when we all just needed a rest.
Now, however, I’m committed to homeschooling all the way through to high school. I’ll still take it year by year, because I want to remain open to God’s leading. However, my mindset is more long term now.
As such, my approach is to slow down to appreciate this time together and focus on learning. I’m teaching them the academics, of course, but mostly how to learn. How to study, find information, figure things out on their own, essentially how to be a good student. That way if they ever return to school and, after high school, go on to further education, then they can easily adjust.
How’s your pace? In what ways can you slow down and simplify?
Joy & Peace, Sister!