As life starts speeding up again post-lockdown, I can’t avoid the truth that living more sustainably does require a time commitment.
It takes more time to bake your own snacks, instead of buying them ready-packaged.
It takes more time to go to 3 different shops because you can’t find everything you want plastic-free in one place.
It takes more time to cook from scratch every day, several times a day. And to wash the dishes from all that cooking and baking.
It takes time to connect with nature by actually being in nature, whether taking a walk or sitting in the garden.
I had that time in lockdown.
And now, as the pace of life picks up again, the volume of emails is increasing, and time pressures change as we add socialising back into the mix.
Call me odd, but this return to ‘normal’ doesn’t suit me very well. I feel more scattered, less able to concentrate on coming up with meal plans, and physically more rushed in the kitchen, as I’m ‘squeezing in’ cooking among other things.
How we got to a place where feeding ourselves and our families is given such a low priority is beyond me.
All this is a huge reminder that intentional living requires just that – strong intention.
If I want to invest more time in living sustainably, and keep the slow pace which is so important for wellbeing, something’s got to give.
I know what I want to put more time into. But what don’t I have time for anymore?
Aimless internet browsing, the sort driven by avoidance rather than purpose.
Absent-minded scrolling through social media (‘the time-wastey place’, as someone astutely called it).
Numbing out in front of TV shows that I’m not even interested in.
Making more money (being self-employed, I can choose to save more rather than earn more. There is such a thing as ‘enough’).
Reading emails (by taking advantage of the unsubscribe function).
Somehow, in modern life, we do find time for all that stuff – hours a day – and then claim we haven’t got time to cook for ourselves. It’s pretty clear which one nourishes us, but it’s not always the choice we make.
This is for complex reasons, and I certainly don’t have all the answers, not even close. But I have my curiosity, about living differently. I just hope I can also keep hold of enough intention to stay rooted in slow and sustainable.