Just take it a little easier in the years to come
Those who know me are aware of my style life the last five years…. I spent them traveling around for work constantly, with no break at all, no weekends, no holidays, no nothing …. just work.
At least I had the decency with myself, whenever the work allowed it to me, to take long distance walks and think the things I truly like, the moments from which i derive pleasure and real satisfaction, the things that stand the test of time, my need for fidelity, solidity and consistency.
And here I am now, writing down my personal guideline for living a gentler life. The sequence is irrelevant.
1. Give value to your things …. do not just use them and throw them away or hide them in a closet. Take care of them, repair them, refresh them, repurpose them. If you cannot do that on your own, go to these little expert shops – give work to those who provide services with so much passion and “meraki” as the Greeks say, like tailors, shoemakers, lampshade makers, furniture renovators etc.
2. Learn to live with less plastic or even zero plastic. Do not use the excuse of not having the ^tools^ of proper recycling – this is just an excuse. You can do your best by initially avoiding to get these kind of materials in your life. Just stop buying products in plastic package, stop asking for plastic bags at your supermarket and start having your own fabric ones (there are so many beautiful bags made by cotton fabric), use recycled mugs and cases for your coffee and your snack, do not buy plastic water bottles, start using water filters at home & office, split your wastes – i know that this requires time but yes … give it time, it is worth it!
3. Use an alarm clock to wake up. Just keep your smartphone away from your head and from being the first thing to touch when you wake up. You can check your messages or your social media life just a little bit later. A friendly sound of an alarm clock will definitely ease your day. Trust me!
4. Get a pet. It will make you a better person. You will be amazed of how many things you can learn by looking into other species eyes, how much love, affection, sentience and reflection! Ok, i admit my preference to dogs, especially stray dogs, but you can make your own choice, the one that suits you better.
5. Live in the countryside or at least visit it quite often. It is healing! If you can not have the benefits of living in the countryside at least try once or twice a month to escape from the cities. Pick short routes (not highways) and visit small places, no need to be special for some reason, just get closer to nature. Smell the ground and the fresh air, observe the flowers, hug the trees, walk, climb, run, pedal, swim, harvest your chamomile, your mountain tea, your oregano, your dinner table flowers, … come on, I am pretty sure that you will find an amusing way to embrace the countryside. You will feel refreshed, full of energy and power!
6. Prepare your dish. No need to be an expect cooker and no rush to become one. Time to restart and enter your kitchen the way our parents did at our early life years. On a daily basis no one was cooking something complicated, time consuming, or extra skill required, just simple, fast but nutritious and healthy meals. You can do that again for yourself or/and your beloved ones. In case you are alone, no family around, do not hesitate to call a friend or your neighbor and prepare an omelet for example, or a steak with a tomato salad and a feta cheese, while drinking a glass of wine or a beer! It will take 20-30′ to prepare it and another 30-45′ to enjoy it (no need for long, profound conversations-just an hour or an hour and a half of your day). Can’t you see that culinary will improve your health, increase your social life and definitely keep your family a real family?
7. Use local market. Stop stocking your fridge or your pantry with food supplies and start buying fresh stuff everyday or every couple of days. If you lucky enough to live in a place where small bakeries, groceries, butchers or fish markets still exist, you have to pay them a visit often. Become a friend with the person behind the desk and take delight of his will to take care of you! This is valid for all kind of stores such as drugstores, liquor, book, clothing, accessories, tool, DIY stores …. anything. Be part and real member of your neighborhood and let the “fireworks” of socializing give you joy and happiness.
8. Get a hobby – do something you love. Such a “chaotic” idea, with so much variety, how else should i name it? But so instrumental! I’ ll give you a bunch of ideas and you can pick up your preferable one. Remember, it doesn’t have to be only one, or last for a life time – yes, you can change it from time to time. It just has to be constantly in your life – do not forget to “spoil” yourself by doing things that give pleasure only to you! So how about gardening, creating archives (collecting things), reading, fishing, working voluntarily, knitting, cooking, sewing, working out, driving, sailing, learning a foreign language, studying, shooting, embracing art (music, theater, cinema, visiting museums, galleries, exhibitions) …. and so on.
9. Buy a boat. I know that this choice is a very specific one and could not be appealing to all of you but to me is one of the most important. I always wanted to have a small boat, the kind of boat that I could repaint on my own and I could keep in my backyard and not in a marina. I was lucky to be raised in a city by the sea with easy access to beautiful scenery and views. I was also lucky to learn to respect and love the water and the peace when being off terra! This is what I am seeking … ideally by the sea but a lake or a river could do also.
10. Become member of a team. This is not kids’ benefit only and, no doubt, it doesn’t concern only healthy lifestyle. This is about friendship, community, chatting, competing, ameliorating yourself, all these marvelous stuff that you can get by participating in a game, in a team! Do not hesitate it. Has only pros and no cons that your health applications cannot measure them.