When simplifying our lives, it is important to spend as much time focusing on what we are gaining from our efforts as we spend working to pare down, to minimize, those aspects we have deemed extraneous. An example I was struck by this past weekend came from waiting for a table at our favorite breakfast restaurant. This restaurant has been open in our town for a bit less than two years, and has made an impact on our local food scene which is clear if you show up for breakfast or brunch on any weekend; the wait for a table rapidly approaches an hour for a party of any size. There are many of us locals who have decided this place is worth the wait; you see parents with kids playing with sidewalk chalk and families playing a beanbag toss game the restaurant sets up outside. The crowd waiting for tables is commonly nearly as large as the amount actually sitting at the tables.
While we wait with our morning coffee, my partner and I regularly see cars drive in, one person gets out and goes inside to ask about the wait, comes back out, and they leave. Commonly, this includes overhearing comments about them not being willing to wait so long. Yet for us, the wait has become one of the many perks of this restaurant in particular. While waiting, we rarely have our phones out; instead, we are talking to each other about whatever has caught our attention at the moment; what we’re looking forward to in our day, what we’ve been enjoying lately, anything which comes to mind. Waiting 30-60 minutes for breakfast has become a cherished part of our Sunday routine. This wasn’t always the case, yet it has progressively become so; at this point, we actually miss the time if we get there and they tell us the wait will be 15-20 minutes.
This all is one example of us actively working to shape our days to allow us to lead a slower moving life than what most people do, slower than what we used to do. We use the extra time to destress from the stressful events, linger on the enjoyable ones, and prepare for the larger events. By structuring our lives to have windows of “slow-down time” we gain more value out of everything we do in the rest of our time; even though we aren’t doing any of them! It is a wonderful thing to be able to live life at our own pace. How do you make room for yourself in your daily life?