In most of Europe, the work day begins at 9am. Lunch can fall anywhere between 11:00am and 2:00pm, and people generally take ample time to meet up with a friend and chat over a nice meal and a carafe of wine at a café, or eat at home with their family. Most businesses are closed by 6:30pm, and evenings are spent connecting with neighbors, enjoying the arts and other personal hobbies, and wrapping up the day with a late supper. No offices are open during the weekend, and retail shops and restaurants who serve customers on Saturdays are often closed all day Monday to give employees time to recuperate. Each moment is appreciated for what it is, and life moves at a much slower pace than what we are used to here in the United States.
As Americans, we are constantly rushing to get to the next thing – an appointment, a networking event, or a work deadline. To cram in as many productive hours as possible, we are attached to devices that connect us instantaneously with the internet, and also give other people direct access to us at all times. We live in an extremely high-stress environment that usually leaves us racing to keep up, which also makes us prone to exhaustion. Our health suffers, our relationships suffer, and our work suffers.
At Pursuits, we have been discussing this a lot recently. We’ve been sharing small ways that each of us makes time every day to try and be mindful of a specific moment, or feel gratitude for something beautiful, or reach out to someone from whom we’ve felt disconnected. This idea of slowing down appeals immensely to all of us, and we’ve committed ourselves to intentionally setting a slower pace to try and reverse the overwhelm of our hectic day-to-day schedules. Especially as we ramp up into the holiday season, the idea of creating a forum for us to continue these conversations and inviting others to join us inspired us to launch our own Slow Living Challenge.
Through the end of 2016, we will be examining a few facets of our lives that can become nourishing and more fulfilling as we become more mindful of how we experience them. Each week we will post an article about one topic, along with some tips and tricks we have found beneficial. Join our discussion and share your personal experience with our Facebook group. Our goals are to become more energized and less stressed, more innovative and creative, to enhance our ability to listen and hear what others have to say, and to become more anchored with our intuition. We hope you will join us on this journey!