February 4, 2012

Nature Does Not Hurry

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” - Lao Tzu
My life speed limit is SLOW. Or somewhere between slow and stop. It has always been this way - I have tachophobia.

My fear of speed does not show up on amusement park rides, while sledding down snow-covered hills, or on jet planes. When it comes to life, though, I definitely become tachophobic.

I don't know about you, but the faster I try to live, the less effective I become. When I rush I end up either breaking something, or hurting myself. Or both.

Recently I drove through a red light. The guy behind me must have been in a rush as well because he went through the red right behind me. Argh - time to do some downshifting.

I drove to a park and went for a walk, feeling lucky that I wasn't in Emergency on a stretcher.

Proceed slowly
Why live in a world that is complicated, fast, and detrimental to personal and planetary health when a simple, naturally-paced, wholesome alternative is possible?

I don't think snails get tachophobic as they move along at their leisurely .05 kilometer per hour (.03 mph) top speed. And yet they still get to where they need to go.

Nature is slow and patient, and like snails, we are part of nature. We can live at a more relaxed and enjoyable speed (which, in my case, will also be safer).

What's the hurry? Try reducing your life speed limit for health and happiness.


  1. I began following this blog awhile back and find great insights here! thanks!

    1. Imaya,

      We appreciate you joining us. We need more people like you to get behind small-footprint living.

      So happy that you are finding insights on our humble blog. Thanks for letting us know - the encouragement is nice.

  2. I have no idea how people are able to do life slow. I have to have a FT job, and I have 2 young children (a toddler & a high needs gradeschooler). I canceled all outside sports & activities, yet I don't even have the time to open mail from 2 yrs ago. I literally wish I could do even ONE day a year in slow-mo.

    1. Renee,

      Our slow life was cultivated over a period of many years. It took a lot of planning and patience, but we made it a goal for ourselves.

      Now we feel very fortunate to have achieved the relaxed pace that our siimple lifestyle affords.

      Having said that, we do not have kids, and we are basically retired.

      I do know how you feel though, as just living entails a certain minimum amount of busyness that never ends. Sometimes I feel a lack of time, too.

      You deserve some slo-mo time, if just to maintain your sanity.

      Make taking a day for yourself, just one day, a priority. Enlist the help of friends and family, and return the favour for them.

  3. Anonymous2/07/2012

    I am a divorced mother of two, and I work, but I am actually able to live a pretty slow life. I have decided that we don't need to do a lot of things other people do. For instance, we rarely go shopping. I noticed this last night because we had to take a trip into town to get my son a haircut and a couple of birthday presents for friends and it felt like a big occasion!

    Also, I clean up my house in little bits so I never spend a lot of time cleaning and it stays pretty clean. One thing that helped streamline the cleaning process is getting rid of extra stuff so there is less to clean.

    I cook simple meals. Sometimes dinner is just Annie's boxed mac and some steamed broccoli. I don't beat myself up about not cooking long involved meals very often, it takes a lot of time that I'd rather give to my kids and when you are a single working mom, some things have to give. I cook better on the weekends.

    I put my kids to bed early, like 8:30 and spend about a half an hour getting little jobs done and then I always take an hour or so to chill, have a little glass of wine or read.

    I also work at a job very close to my house. The pay is terrible, but I used to commute two hours a day and I have traded time for money.

    I also just say no to things like volunteering for the PTO. I feel bad, but there are a lot of married SAHMs in my area and I am just going to have to let them take this stuff over. I can only do so much. I have worked hard on giving up guilt!

    This is not bragging at all, my life is FAR from perfect but I am just trying to share some tips about how I have slowed down. It's not easy, but I find I just can't function at a fast pace, and like Greg, I find myself doing a lot of things like running red lights (and putting milk away in the cupboard, leaving faucets on, etc.) when I move too fast.

    Sorry for the lengthy response. :)


    1. Hey Jen,

      Thanks for sharing your excellent tips. Sounds like you are honouring your priorities and gaining control of your life.

      Giving up guilt - so important!

      Your kids are benefiting from your calm pace.


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