Slow is not boring

Kathy Krugerfind your flow, go with the flow, work-life balance17 Comments

If you’re savouring a return to school term, then chances are you’re enjoying your ears being spared that most moronic of holiday ear-worms: “I’m bored”!

“Would you rather be back at school?” Scowl!

Perhaps it’s you instead lamenting the end of that slower, sweeter school holiday pace, or rather lack of speed – actual time to get off the hamster wheel, even if bothered by constant cries of boredom. I am a little jealous of all of you in the midst of school holidays right now.

We always want what we don’t have – yes we savour the space and time in the school holidays (or I would have if I hadn’t worked most of the time and taught yoga – seven classes last week, only because I had the time in the holidays, without kid’s homework and activities) but then we want the space and time (blissfully to ourselves) that school terms bring. Supposedly.

Yin Yoga class - with 17 students!

A slow Yin Yoga class – with 17 students!

I want what I don’t have – a Little Yang who still says ‘I’m boring’ instead of ‘I’m bored’ – ah but time moves so fast and that horse has bolted.

This post better hurry up.

I must be slow (as in soft in the head – see how both soft and slow can be turned derogatory so easily) because I’ve written on this topic before here and here, and probably bored you then. I’ve explored the benefits of both fast and slow, but I keep coming back to SLOW. And semantics.

Slow sounds so leisurely when it’s unhurried, but just slothful when it’s sluggish. It can be deliberate or dawdling, stupid or thoughtful. It can be lethargic or languid. And so it goes. Slowly.

Yep I’m getting to the point.

See I reckon what most people actually mean when they think about balance is slowing down (well duh).

You’re unlikely to hear this: “I really want more balance in my life, so I better hurry up to meet that next deadline and then I’ll find balance”

People chase the deadline anyway and never find the balance. They fantasise about working less, and then cram in more while at work. The allow themselves some ‘down time’ and then up the ante the rest of the time.

Society’s attitude to time is warped (ha, ha, but seriously). We seem uncomfortable (excruciatingly so) with going slow and so operate on two speeds – fast or stop (sometimes DEAD stop).


Perhaps this balloon should have slowed down trying to land in the park near our house

Slow is fine and dandy when luxuriating by a pool on holidays (because it is actually stopping), but sucks in a snaking queue at the checkout (because it gets in the way of fast). People think they must go soooo fast nearly all the time in order to earn the right to go slow soooo little of the time.

And if you aren’t going  fast, then you mustn’t be successful. If you aren’t busy you must be inefficient, under-achieving, sloooow. BORING.

Busy may be the new black, but balance should be

We talk of spending time (as though it can be bought) and killing time (as though we actually want less of it)!

We talk of losing time and wasting it and of time slipping away and of love and loss and stories and wisdom and war being as old as time itself. We talk of some things as short-lived and others as time-consuming. We lose time down rabbit holes, and find time (hopefully lots of it) for the people and things we love. Measured, time is always the same. Lived, it can feel vastly different. It’s always our choice.

When you choose slow it is never boring (or if it is boring, it feels good anyway). And we all know how it feels to be forced into fast.

Maybe answers lie in Kelly Exeter’s Practical Perfection – finding that zone where passions, priorities and productivity overlap. Maybe it lies in the slow movement, and Carl Honore’s book: ‘In Praise of Slow’ (which I’m slowly reading right now – he wrote it before the advent of social media, little did he know). And I’m working on some answers through reYINvention – softening is a great place to start. I’ll let you know.

Meantime – spend (ok waste) 30 seconds watching a slow-mo of our dog Ruffus shaking out – a wet dog with his beloved ball is something to savour – even the fastest things can be slowed down and enjoyed.

Linking up with Jess for IBOT and the lovely Grace for FYBF. What can you slow down this week? Why not record something in slo-mo (I think most of the newer phones have that function) and take the time to notice the details.

Namaste sign off_edited-1

Kathy X

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Kathy KrugerSlow is not boring

17 Comments on “Slow is not boring”

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks for visiting Emily – totally agree that you feel the physical calming effect of giving up on multi-tasking, taking time over a task and finding presence in it – and I reckon it is more efficient too.

  1. nicolethebuilderswife

    I think without realising it, I have chosen to go slow on an idea that was bubbling around in my head. At first I was all full steam ahead, but in doing so was overwhelming myself, so now I am going slow with it, savoring it, enjoying the process. Now I would like to figure out how to do this in my everyday life. xx

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Hopefully the idea marinates around in your head Natalie and comes out in a project even better than you first imagined. Sorry for the delay in replying, but hey I’m writing about SLOW here!

  2. Denyse Whelan

    I used to pride myself on being fast! Quick to act, make decisions, fast walking and more..and then one day I thought NO! I need to slow down, I need to look more and notice more and to not keep thinking about ‘what’s next?’ Now that I am retired it is taking a HUGE adjustment for this to occur after 40+ years of fast but I am (slowly!!) getting there. Denyse #teamIBOT

    1. Kathy Kruger

      It is funny Denyse – my parents talk about being busy in retirement, and while they are active seniors, I think it has been a morphing process since they retired so that now much less makes them feel busier. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much or little you do as finding meaning in it.

  3. Dr Sash @ From the Left Field

    This is so fab! So many ways to think of slow, and you’re so right, often the connotation is a derogatory one. We are so on fast or stop time these days. I feel like social media adds to that constant ‘on’ feeling too. And if you’re ‘off’ you’re missing out. I am so guilty of this going fast/thinking I need to be going fast stuff. I literally can.not.sit.still. It’s a big lesson! x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      You are right Sash that social media makes us feel on all the time – I try not to check my phone that much. I have a desktop Mac at home so I have to decide to walk into my office and check at night. Of course when I’m working away I’m checking in on social media a bit too often, but at least it isn’t so much a mobile affliction.

  4. Deborah

    Love this post Kathy and I know I (for eg) feel ‘bad’ when I read things about how busy everyone is and feel guilty that I’m not as busy and feel like I should be busier. When did we start being competitive about how busy and stressed we are? Instead of saying, “Oh yes, I know…” when people say it in future I should respond honestly and say…. “Well, things are pretty slow in my part of the world. I’m not getting stuff done but it’s because of laziness not busy-ness!”

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Deb I reckon there would be a few people jealous of you if you were honest and said things are slow. I think busy a lot of the time is the excuse we (or I) make to not tackle things I fear the most.

  5. Maxabella

    My hand is up, I’m guilty of this. I’ve only really just started to realise that I pack so much into life because part of me thinks I’ll be uninteresting if I don’t. We’ve all really got to get off the silly carousel and just start living without thinking how we ‘appear’ to others. x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      You’re very interesting Bron and I think it is depth of doing things with meaning and purpose that makes us more interesting than ticking boxes to say ‘tried that’. I guess the trick is to follow your curiosities, as Elizabeth Gilbert says, but not just to impress, and to eventually find yourself down the rabbit hole you really want to be down.

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