Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Finding My Slow

Every year around this time a little depression sets in. It's not because of the shorter days or dark evenings. Oddly enough, I enjoy that aspect of this time of year, and to be honest, it's short lived because with the winter solstice, comes the gradual lengthening of days.

"I light the fire in my fireplace. You sing jolly songs with your friends. And while you are singing, summer begins.  On the 22nd of December, little hands of light begin to push back the edges of darkness minute by minute. Before long, you will take off your shoes and jump over bluebells. I will eat my breakfast outdoors in the sunshine. The birds will return as the days grow longer.  The frogs and turtles will come out of the warm mud, and the next thing you know, I'll be writing.

Dear Rebecca, summer is here!"

- Jean Craidhead George

from Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here!

The sadness is related more to how quickly time itself is passing. I've said this for years now, but there is something about turning 58 (11/11), and being on the cusp of 60, that has made me stand up and take notice. Even in my efforts to live SLOW and WITH INTENTION, there are still so many things I want to do, that in my mind I never seem to have time for. But the truth is, I am simply not making the time, and that saddens me more than if I simply didn't have it.

On that note, as the new year is fast approaching, I've been thinking a lot lately about rhythms and routines. I am trying to make some decisions, especially with regard to social media, because it's just-so-much to keep up with! The experts say that if you really want to grow your readership and turn a profit on your blog that you need a strong social media presence. That means all-of-it!  Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Facebook and Instagram are the only two that I have a viable presence at, and Instagram is currently lagging. Facebook is a little easier for me because I just post old seasonal vintage ads, links to vintage videos, etc. But I've been posting there several times a day, typically at 8, 10, 12, 2 and 4, which is a LOT! So I'm considering reducing my presence there significantly. I've even toyed with the idea of deleting my group page altogether, but it really is the best place for sharing such things and I truly enjoy it. The bottom line is, I need to pare down. I've abandoned Twitter altogether, especially in light of their recent layout change, which I despise! And I've never had a presence (other than my personal page), on Pinterest. It's just too much! I have said for some time now that I prefer the days of what is now referred to as old fashioned blogging, when we shared our hearts for the purpose of community. Before the days when blogging became a business. I'm sure before too long Amazon is going to slap my hand for not generating enough affiliate sales, and if so, so be it! If I'm to garnish any profit from this little space, it will be because of the Lord's favor and blessing. In the mean time, I'm not willing to sell my soul to achieve it.

Oddly enough, it is social media, and Instagram in particular, that has introduced me to a few resources that have been a true inspiration. Among my favorites, Little Oak Learning. Though her materials are designed primarily for families with young children, in this changing season of my life, I find them truly inspirational. You can visit her website and sign up to receive The Family Rhythm Weekly Calendar, Creating a Rhythm Guide, and The Best Tools For Creating Rhythm. Some articles from her blog (or scrapbook, as she calls it, I just love that!), that have been inspiring are, Rhythm of the Day Week, Month and Year. and Simple Rituals for Rhythm. Again, these articles address family rhythms with young children, but I still find the inspiration she shares transcending.

I have also been inspired by a number of her lovely Instagram posts;

- Years, Seasons, Weeks, Days
- The lovely candle holders (I believe made from play dough) and beeswax candles in this image.
- Rituals of Rhythm       
- A Simple Weekly Rhythm
- Life Lessons From A Snail
- Cultivating Family Joy
- Figuring Out This Family Rhythm Thing

So inspiring!  Perhaps you'll be inspired, too!

At this point I'm not really sure where all of this is leading, other than a deeper, perhaps more intentional commitment to a slower, simpler life. This may come naturally in the coming year, as my husband and I transition into traveling the country in our repurposed, renovated van, but that's a post for another day! In the mean time, my desire is to begin again, because isn't that the glorious gift that we receive each day?, to slow the moments, savor the seasons, and live an authentic life with a deep sense of purpose. I've still got my eye on those journals my friend Dawn makes up so beautifully, I think they may be part of the bigger picture. I've even scoped out a few designs that I think would work well for me, so we'll see. I'm sure I'll be sharing more as we wind up these last few months of the year.  I've collected oodles of ideas, quotes and inspiration that I want to share with you, and I'm hoping that somehow it all comes together in a way that makes sense, because right now it seems a little garbled.

With that, I'd love to hear from others of you who have perhaps struggled to maintain a rhythm, or slow the days! Life just has a way of busying us and urging us on! Somehow, if it's even possible, I suppose I want to create a bubble, if you will, or perhaps a cocoon (I like the sound of that better). A place where, if not for always (let's be realistic), but at least some of the time, I can slow the pace a little. I want to find a rhythm and routine that works for me, and to limit how much the world dictates, or rather, how much I allow it to do so! I want to find my slow.


Anonymous said...

This post really spoke to my heart. I do believe it's an age thing; at least in my case it is. I have felt more drawn to season living as I've gotten older. Your links are very inspirational, too.

I plan to print out your phenology wheel and begin in January. I came across your blog in the middle of fall, which is a busier time for our large family, so I figured I'd have a better success at making it a habit to work on it after the holiday season. Also, I loved your autumn journal pages, but again, didn't print them for this year since I came across them in the middle of the season. Am hoping you'll have something similar for the winter months!


Kimberly Lottman said...

I am working on the Winter Book of Days as we speak! Should have it available just before Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok.
I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

Kimberly Lottman said...

And I'm so glad you are going to give the phenology wheel a try! I've fallen out of habit myself, about mid-October, due to busyness, and like you, have decided to commit again to in January! :).

Kimberly Lottman said...

Anonymous - I have used Twitter in the past, but stopped using it when they changed their format. I am also trying to cut down on social media, so I probably won't revive it.

Nicole said...

I'm so thankful I've found your blog after reading Dawn's for years. I began following her during the years that I was homeschooling and blogging myself and I know exactly of what you speak when you talk about the old days of blogging. I did love them!

I tried reviving my blog a few times, but like you, I became bogged down with social media. I remember when my friend invited me to use Facebook and I resisted at first saying, "I blog."

I've been a heavy Instagram user when I was mad at Facebook and now I've backed off of Instagram because most of those who "followed" me were businesses. So now I am begrudgingly only on Facebook, because I can at least have better conversations there. I wish you discernment in finding your own balance.

I have had fun checking out so many of your links and I'll look for you on Facebook as well. I, too, am a lover of seasons and rhythms. I hope you will keep your blog going for a long time, because I am sure I will enjoy being a frequent visitor!


Kimberly Lottman said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Nicole! I am so happy that you have enjoyed what you have found here in this little space so far. I look forward to visiting with you and getting to know you better. - Kim