rituals of an unhurried life

When we adopted Sam more than 16 years ago I didn’t know it would set me on an adventure to live a small and unhurried existence. I didn’t want to rush, and I didn’t want him to be rushed. “He has the rest of his life to be busy, he doesn’t need a busy childhood,” I proclaimed. 

I was going through photos, and I came across this picture of Sam and me. We are sitting on a curb, either waiting for a parade to start or lingering after it was over—I’m not sure which and I’m not sure it matters. We were watching the world, side-by-side, and we are not rushed.

I paused at our joy, and I tried to figure out why I had big feelings about an ordinary photo. I finally realized it is because Sam has become a companion in the fight against the grind of being busy. What started as a quest to rid his childhood of busy has become a way of life, a way to live unhurried and small—for him and for me.

Rituals of an Unhurried Life

  1. We watch the world. This means we sit on the back porch or go for a walk in the woods or take pictures of the big, orange moon. We stare at the stars and we eat peaches that are so ripe they drip off of our chins and elbows. 
  2. We look for stories. We chase trains, and we corral photos. We talk at the dinner table long after our plates are empty. We make new friends, and we make time to spend with people we like.
  3. We cook. We chop and season and build menus with our favorite flavors and simple foods.
  4. We put down our phones. When your hands are free from a screen, fantastic things can happen.
  5. We sleep. Naps and early-to-bed or sleep-in-a-little can do wonders for creativity and energy.
  6. We linger in newness of the day. I love beginning the day. Stretching and scripture, writing and sipping the best cup of coffee are invitations to an unhurried start. I make breakfast and clean the kitchen. I settle in for a few hours of work, and then I open my arms wide for the next adventure.
  7. We name the color of the sky. It never repeats.
  8. I tell myself: It’s okay.

I don’t know why I have to constantly slay feelings of not-enough when I choose to live small and unhurried. But I do. In fact, this may be a ritual, as well.

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  1. Love this and you and Sam! Yesterday, I made time to eat breakfast in my rocking chair on the front porch on my last morning in our house of 25 years. Unhurried. . . Watching the world, looking for stories, sleeping, and lingering. I need more of each! Tell Sam I said hello!

    • I love the thought of you on your porch, in a rocking chair, quietly saying goodbye. Sam says, “Hi!” and he wants you to know he still loves reading about the Titanic…and all things ships, planes, and trains!

  2. What a sweet photo of you and Sam, “your companion in the fight against the grind of being busy”!

    Reading through your rituals was soothing. Such beautiful ways to enJOY the moments in a day. Such wise and warm practices.