General Question

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

How do you slow life down?

Asked by Earthbound_Misfit (13152points) May 27th, 2017

It’s nearly June already! The weeks are flying by at breakneck speed. I want to savour my life and enjoy the passing moments so I thought I’d ask you how you slow things down (if you do)?

Do you have any strategies you use to allow you to not feel like your life is flying by?

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27 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Meditation can help. So can getting enough sleep, and not getting sucked into relating to life as a series of things that need to be done around schedules, and/or in response to ongoing needs. I find that when I am relating to head ideas, and/or media and other people’s stories, time passes. Time slows down and I can enjoy things when I stay present to the here and now. It helps me to have time alone, to disconnect from media and computers, and to get away from cities and work and situations.

ragingloli's avatar

You can either move at a considerable percentage of the speed of light, or move close the event horizon of a black hole.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Get a second job. Serving the public. Like will be too slow.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Search me. As the wise guy said, time marches on. Is your glass half full, or half empty? Why can’t the adults eat the spinach?

janbb's avatar

I have deliberately unscheduled days when i just take things at my own pace. There is a feeling of ease about it.

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JLeslie's avatar

Be in the moment, especially the happy ones.

Another way of thinking about it is to compartmentalize. I think women have a harder time being very focused on the one thing they are experiencing in a particular moment.

Slow down. Have down time.

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Patty_Melt's avatar

Another vote here for some go easy time.
Find a good spot to watch clouds, and see how many you can find which resemble something.
Get some wind chimes, and just do nothing a while, listening to them.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

You don’t, it slows you down a lot.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ve noticed it goes faster as I get older. Sorry.
if you find a good way to slow it down please let me know.

flutherother's avatar

Today I found an unexpected old public park a few hundred yards from the centre of one of the world’s largest cities. What a delightful contrast. No advertising, no constant movement, no noise but birds in the trees. That old man sitting on a plastic chair in the shade looking out upon the mountains may have been me.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

There is only one way, avoid routine if possible. If you can manage to pack in novel and numerous activities or experiences it will have the effect of making life seem to slow down.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@flutherother If you were a geocacher you’d have known about that park ages ago. There is a tiny geocache hidden under the bench on the left hand side, just within your reach if you bend over and pretend to be tying your shoelaces. ;-)

zenvelo's avatar

To expand on what @flutherother said, one way to enjoy each day is to get outside and enjoy nature. Be near trees, lift your head up and look at the sky, feel the weather on your face.

The passing of time, though, accelerates as one ages. When a year shrinks from 10% of your life at age ten, to less than two percent of your live over age 50, it all seems to go by so quickly.

funkdaddy's avatar

This goes hand in hand with having an unscheduled day, but I think moving the routine things you do each day around slightly really helps. It doesn’t have to be swapping them for something more exciting, just shift them around.

Things like waking up earlier, staying up later, not having “dinner at 7” but just when you’re hungry. Swapping whatever you do to wind down for something else. They’re really small changes, but can make it seem like a new day rather than a retread of all the others.

My fastest days are the ones where I have the entirely “normal” schedule to get everyone else where they need to be, fed, washed, dressed, etc. It’s amazing how much we do in a day at certain times simply to make it easier to coordinate with those around us, so the unscripted days tend to be more solitary.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Slow life down? Visit Fluther a few times on the weekends. That’ll put a screeching halt on time.
(Written Sunday prevening. How long til you saw it?)

Joell's avatar

Even then, @ragingloli, I’m afraid in his own frame of reference, he will find time running at the same pace. No use!
To enjoy life more though, I suggest you travel. Travel alone to places unplanned and unheard of. Look down the land and waters passing by through the window, if its a train. Traveling can never be boring.

zenvelo's avatar

Here is an article on making weekends seem longer by trying new things.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Thank you so much everyone for the fabulous ideas. @Zaku, I started meditating again at the beginning of the year, and I lost the habit again. I will make a point of getting into that habit again. I think it does make a difference to my life.

@ragingloli, I feel like I’m in a wormhole and there’s a lot of space junk in here with me.

@RedDeerGuy1, my one job keeps me way too busy to take on another. However, I was having a coffee and I told the waiter what you said, and I asked him if his life moved slowly. He laughed and said his day certainly did go slowly when his boss was about! So perhaps there’s something in what you suggested.

@NomoreY_A, I eat spinach and I’m definitely a ‘half-full’ type of woman. And I don’t know either. I asked this question because life seems to be just whizzing by. One minutes Sunday evening and then it’s Sunday morning again… and the time in between just went past in a flash.

@janbb, I like this idea. I should put some ‘unscheduled’ days in my calendar. I think it’s a great idea.

@JLeslie, down time… what is that? I agree with you. We aren’t good at just enjoying the moment. I know I’m constantly thinking about what else I need to do.

@Patty_Melt, I like the idea of some wind chimes and watching the clouds.

@ZEPHYRA, life is not slowing down at all at the moment.

@LuckyGuy, yes, that’s my experience too. It’s just crazy fast at the moment. There are some good suggestions here. Perhaps we should both try them out and report back.

@flutherother, I love this idea too. I could just go and sit in my backyard and watch the birds. I need to do that more often. If I’m in a park in Scotland, and I see an old man sitting on a bench enjoying the moment, I’ll say hello.

@ARE_you_kidding_me, I like this idea too. I’ve suggested to my husband that we do something different each weekend. Doesn’t have to be anything amazing. It could be going somewhere different for a cuppa.

@zenvelo, I do like this idea. And I really don’t have to go far. Outside my door are many, many trees, with birds, and clouds and in the evening, with bats flying overhead. I should make a point of going out and just sitting there doing nothing more often.

@funkdaddy, so the key words are ‘unscheduled’, and ‘mix-it-up’. I’ll give that a go.

@Joell, I LOVE travelling. Sadly, real life insists that I can’t travel all the time. I do travel whenever I can. I’m not bored by the way. I’m loving life. I don’t want it to go so fast because I want to savour it.

@zenvelo, thank you for the article. I will read it.

And thank you all for the tips. I think I’m just aware that I am getting older and life is flying by and I don’t want it to go so fast. I am loving my life and I want to really enjoy it. So I will try to apply some of the ideas you’ve suggested. Meditation, unscheduled days, shifting my routine around and mixing things up, planning to do new things regularly, travel, but also taking time to just sit and enjoy my surroundings, to watch the clouds, listen to the rain on the roof and the birds singing. Thanks again for your help with this!

JLeslie's avatar

I thought of this Q yesterday.

My day went like this:

7:30am I woke up, and had a very leisurely morning. Stayed in bed the first half hour, checked my Facebook, then while still in my comfy pajamas for just over an hour, I watched some TV, ate a little breakfast.

10:00am Finally got ready for zumba.

10:30 got in the car and drove to zumba class. Did my thing there, talked to some of the girls for ten minutes after class.

12:15 drove home, showered, changed, didn’t bother with hair or makeup (hair still in a ponytail).

12:55 Left with my husband to use our $5 coupon for lunch at a burger joint here that is very good. Lunch was delicious, no rushing, then came home and watched some TV. Then I did a little work.

6:30 I primped myself up, and then at 7:00 left the house and met friends to go dancing in a town square. The dancing ends at 9:00pm, so it’s just perfect, not too late, you get home at a reasonable hour.

I felt like that day was long and fun. Four separate very enjoyable things in that day: Lounging in my comfy pjs, zumba, lunch, and dancing with friends. I noted while doing them that I was enjoying myself. I think some people might label it being grateful.

My conclusion is work screws up everything. Working lots of hours, days in a row every week, puts us in a hypnotic state that makes time fly by faster. How in the hell would I get four distinct fun experiences if I was working all day? I wouldn’t. Some people have fun jobs, but I think most don’t.

I think everyone should quit their jobs.

flutherother's avatar

@Earthbound Misfit Don’t forget, because I will be waiting for you. Say hello, then we can look at the mountains together.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I believe my Fluther profile says something like “in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to work.” I really believe that. I think of all the things I’d rather be doing rather than spending my days at work, and my mornings stressed with getting ready, and my evenings counting the hours till I go to sleep.

I am in all kinds of groups on FB, and one of them is a local history group for a neighboring town in CT. Today when I was scrolling through my FB feed, I came upon a post in the local history group for some land, talking about the history of the land. The post said that part of it, today, is a certain garden that’s open to the public. I have never heard of this garden, and today, after work, I have some errands I must run. I decided that between work and the errands, this garden is going to be on my way. It’s open till 7 so it’s perfect. I’m going to stop by it, even if just for 15 minutes, and check it out, maybe take a few photos. If it’s really nice, I’ll return another day with my daughter.

For me, now, life has to consist of these stolen moments because there’s no other way. I have to work, need the salary and benefits. I wish that were not the case but it is so I have to make it work however I can.

I also plan a few long weekend trips for the summer, in addition to a week or two of vacation.

My FB feed also had a “memory” from 4 years ago when my daughter was in a wheelchair. At the time I found that whole episode (her broken leg) to be stressful and tiring, but now I look back at it with fond memories. Memories of her friends then, and my friends (one who is now deceased, my daughter’s friend’s mom), memories of her friends riding the wheelchair with my daughter in the school gym, memoroes of my parents at the time being so helpful, memories of my daughter being so little. Just a little memory I’m sharing with you now about how life can be stressful but we tend to remember the good times.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I guess that’s a lesson to focus on the good parts even when going through stressful times. I try to, but things can be overwhelming sometimes.

I should go to work full time and get benefits, but I’m resisting it. I’m surrounded by people who don’t work, which means so much of the activities are during normal working hours. That’s one tricky thing living here.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit Could be worse, it could be Monday evening then Monday morning again. At least you get Sunday off work. That’s why I fly Bizarre Airlines when I travel. Leave on Saturday, get there on Friday afternoon : )

janbb's avatar

Reading certain threads on Fluther…..

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