Spring Flowers
Image by Big Grey Mare via Flickr

Do you feel like your life is going by so fast? And yet it seems we are continually trying to speed things up by rushing through daily routines and tasks.

As a parent you know the years seem to pass by like the blink of an eye and you are left to wonder where did time go? Like many, you are looking to slow the pace of life so you can truly enjoy the people and things that matter most to you. But how can you go about doing that? Here are some simple ideas for simple, joy-filled living.

Enjoy the peaceful mornings. Determine to set your alarm 15-30 minutes earlier than normal and bring your coffee, tea (or soda). Enjoy the quiet of early morning by siting or walking outside. Take this time to think about your day and enjoy the beauty of nature as you listen to the wind, birds, insects, and the sounds of morning. Concentrate on your breathing and do some breathing exercises to help you feel energized and ready to tackle the day. Reserve that special time for yourself each morning and start the day off right.

Speed up dinner with Slow Cooking! In this fast paced world it seems everyone touts the benefits of fast food but a new revolution has begin called the slow food movement. It is of course a more healthy way to eat but the real benefit is that you can get back to basics and cook the foods your mother and grandmother may have made and make meal times special in your house again. Create a meal plan each week and though you may spend more time cooking and a bit more money on quality ingredients, you and your family will relish the experience and time together. Save even more time by using a meal planning service like that offered by our friends at Dine Without Whine.

Enjoy Hospitality – have friends over for dinner. Don’t worry about competing with Martha. This doesn’t need to be elaborate at all. Make one or two special dishes on a buffet table and have guests help themselves and make their own drinks. Sit outside and talk with adults while the kids play. Start a dinner group and trade dinner party nights with other families so once a month or so you have something special and memorable to do that doesn’t break the bank and is simply enjoyable.

Simple Hobbies are the best! Start an easy sewing project (or two), pick up your knitting needles or crochet hook, take your camera on a nature walk several times a week, start a basic scrapbook. Instead of spending time in front of the TV, which will never be very memorable, use some of your free time to create something meaningful. Your parents would love to have a scrapbook of the grandkids and your best friend might like a hand knit scarf for their next birthday or special gift!

Start a book club. Gather together with some friends and choose a book to read over a few weeks time. Get together once a week or so to discuss the chapters that you read and bring simple finger foods. This gives you an excuse to get together regularly and you get some reading time too. The laughs and great conversations will be treasured memories for years to come.

Start a babysitting co-op for date nights. Most married couples who have small children will tell you they rarely get out alone together much. Do something about that! Get together with 2-3 other couples and make a plan. Perhaps on every third weekend, two of the couples will go out while the remaining couple watches all the kids. Trade off so that each couple gets a regular date night.

With a little planning you can slow the pace of life and find time for the things that mean the most to you.

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