In Italy they have organizations called “Slow Food” and “Slow Wine” and I really didn’t understand them when I first arrived. The slow food movement was born in Bra, Italy which was about a 30 min train ride from where I was living in Turin, Italy. There were books and get-togethers about restaurants and vineyards who take the time and thought and care to put together truly remarkable combinations of grapes and flavors. They use seeds and ingredients that are responsibly sourced and take care to note small details in their work.
The thing that caught me most about “Slow Food” is obviously it tastes better. It is fresh and wholesome and incredible. The other thing I really realized is that in America it’s hard to find ANYTHING that’s done SLOWLY and then REWARDED for it. That part was like… what!? You took HOW LONG to make this? That seems unnecessary? … Here’s the thing though, we move too fast. We are a 24/7 - 365 day constantly busy and rushing society. We don’t think we have the time to do anything slowly, but here’s the thing; we do. If they do, we do.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned while I was away was to SLOW DOWN. Believe me, it was not an easy one to just learn real quick. It was more like it was forced onto me and then slowly, I accepted it. There is a difference between slowing down and being lazy too, so don’t think I’m advocating that. Slowing down looks like prioritizing, it looks like taking deep breaths in traffic and finding something useful to do with the time; like listening to a book or singing some of your favorite songs that you never feel like you have the time to enjoy. Slowing down looks like taking an extra 30 minutes at dinner with your loved ones and having a really cool conversation over a glass of wine. Slowing down looks like stretching in the morning or journaling at night. It looks like having coffee with a friend on the way to work or a weekend getaway with people who make you laugh.
Slowing down = caring, truly.
If food tastes better when it’s “slow” and wine is richer when it’s taken properly through each step it’s meant to without rushing or skipping or processing; think about how much better life could be if the same principles were applied. We are not meant to scurry through life and look back at some wild blur of meetings and chaotic conversations, at least I really don’t think so. It took me a LONG time to really adapt to the relaxed mindset of the people in Italy, Thailand, and even Greece. As an American, I am inherently in a rush, even when I literally had nothing else to do, I wanted things quickly because that’s how I was used to it. Italians would drive me NUTS when they would have 2 and 3-hour dinners at 9 pm, WHO DOES THAT?!? American dinners are in and out of the restaurant in an hour or someones not getting tipped, right? But WHYYYYYY. It’s wild and it doesn’t need to be that way. Who taught us that things are better when they’re faster? They were very wrong.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll also have to be forced into relaxation by submerging yourself into a slow culture and understanding this entirely new mindset on life. You might go down kicking and screaming because this way of life goes against every principle you’ve ever learned. I know that staying in America, each day I’m pushed more and more towards stressing and rushing again but I’m trying to push back. I take my time in the grocery store and wake up a few minutes earlier so I don’t feel rushed in traffic. I let frantic nut cases pass me in line at the store because obviously, they have somewhere to be more than I do. I try to take in moments and take even longer breaths. I try to be intentional with my time and spend it where it really counts whenever I can. I try to use the microwave less, too; that’s a tricky one!
That's all for now! Thanks for reading, as always,