Just like there are tons of benefits to a slow-paced lifestyle, there are also sacrifices.
Along with writing pieces on why and how to slow down, it's also essential to be precise - it comes with sacrifices.
To be honest, for most of us - the slower that you go - the more that you have to give up.
Now, in cultures where:
bigger isn't better
where communal values still exist
where a little goes a long way
where my kid does 100 activities (and gets straight A's) doesn't infiltrate parenthood expectations
where you can (without thinking) send your child to their local public school
where social media highlight reel doesn't permeate society
where living wages align with mortgage/rent prices
A slower pace may meet less resistance and not be aligned to privilege. But that's not the case for many of us, and so living with less material, fewer time commitments, and restructuring life may be our only options for a simpler, tidier, and slower-paced life.
In my own experience, saying "yes" to a slower-pace season (for our family) meant saying "no" to working a 40-50 hour/week job. In past seasons, my job was a non-negotiable piece of my life. I loved it, and it allowed me a more leisurely pace. However, when things in my life needed an adjustment, I began to pray. AND I created a detailed spreadsheet outlining our spending habits, saving, income, and our goals. Then I designed a proposal on what it would look like if we didn't have my salary. We took the spreadsheet to a financial planner (my father). And when everything aligned: faith, trust, and works - we jumped.
Now, keeping it real - rarely and randomly, I will feel a yearning for my self-care practices of the old (the two-income purchases):
weekly hair appointment
buying all my groceries at whole foods/sprouts
a Blue Apron/HelloFresh meal prep
two (or more) dining-out experiences/week
a babysitter during the day
my random Amazon purchases
And let's not talk about my irrational (and rare) desires for things that I've never experienced: bi-weekly massages, beauty appointments, a weekly cleaning person, membership at a spa, weeks of international travel, etc.
But as soon as I realize that my narrative is becoming skewed, I capture my thoughts and replace them with gratitude. I start to give thanks to the LORD for all of my "yes's" The privilege to take daily walks and devotions, to read a considerable amount in my day, to spend unlimited time with my boys, and to be true to myself all day every day. All of this to say, by NO MEANS, am I suggesting folks quit their jobs. But I AM suggesting that there will be deductions - how many and what - is up to you. But I will say, there isn't a better time than during our social distancing to realize what matters most in our daily lives. Take time daily to jot down or take note of:
What fulfills you?
What free hobby do you enjoy?
What can you live without?
And what does your body/mind ache for that you cannot have?
Social distance & polepole, my friends.