Slow Progress – Slow Club blog

One of our Slow Club online participants reflects on the process: Well hasn’t time flown! I personally have found that having to create more time for Slow in my life has been a bit of a squeeze…however that squeeze has been totally worth it.

The task for week one was to notice my speed. I can’t say I honestly managed to do this daily, however I did make a concerted effort to reflect on my speed and to be appropriate in the time I took to do tasks. One of the things I noticed was that I think and feel calm when in motion under my own steam. So when I was on my bike or walking I felt very much at the appropriate pace to my activity. However when I attempted to walk slowly I found myself speeding up to my normal pace – as if my feet had a mind of their own! During my quick-slow-quick-slow walk I did make sure to look up and around me more as I walked, and thoroughly enjoyed this connection with my urban environment.

Week two asked me to ‘switch off’ some technology for an hour a day. Hmm, I thought dubiously, what if someone calls, texts, tweets, emails or facebooks me – I won’t be able to answer straight away, panic! Then I thought about the time before mobile phones, before constant social connections existed – I managed to live without tweets and texts then; maybe it was time to give it a go again…

I kept my weekend technology to a minimum, then from Monday I put my phone away during work hours. I left it in my locker at work – only checking it at lunch and after work. Usually I would have it in my pocket to check my emails frequently, and answer any calls and texts as soon as I received them. I actually felt better able to concentrate on my work with out my phone ‘nagging’ me from my pocket. This week I was working in a creative workshop, so I was completely isolated from technology in that sense, and… I totally enjoyed it!

The weekly task was to take a lunch break, something that I nearly always do already. My job is, for the most part, manual so I find having a lunch break is an important part of my day – the opportunity to sit down and rest is vital to my ability to work. This week however I took a walk on one of my lunches to the canal and had a little sit down there, watching the water. I also made sure to go outside for a part of my breaks on the other days, just for a spot of reflection and daylight. I found it very relaxing to step away from the noise and conversation of the lunchroom, it gave me a pleasant energetic feeling when I came back that I don’t usually have after lunch.

Week three’s task is to watch my breath and eat mindfully, both outside of my normal habits. I breath (as most of us do) without thinking, and my meals tend to be social – catching up with my partner, chatting to colleagues etc – so I will have to think strongly about my actions for this task. I will blog about it next week, fingers crossed I manage to do it!