A friend of mine recently commented on how small of a town we live in and how it affected our pace of life. It got me thinking about how living out in the country compares to living in the suburbs and how much of a difference I really noticed in our pace of life being in a different setting.
One of the main differences is that we don't just go out to run a quick errand. We have a Dollar General about ten minutes away and while they have a lot they also don't have much. Any trip into town is at least twenty five minutes. So while we are not out and about as much, when we do go into town it is more of an event. I try to get all my errands done or we are making a day of it.
I do not attend a gym right now but it has more to do with my attached nine month old than being willing to drive into town. So I am doing my exercise outside and at home.
We do spend a lot of time outside - exercising, sitting on the porch, going on walks, and killing time when the baby is fussy. But these are all things we did back in Sacramento as well. It is just more quiet and woodsy here.
My husband has pretty much the same job just now in a different city with more responsibility. He lives even closer to home but unfortunately is working even more than he did before. This definitely is a large factor in how slow or simple life feels.
We attend a smaller church and I have found a moms group to join - but they both can be just as equally busy as our larger church we attended before. Churches and organizations still need help, have plenty of groups and activities to join, making socializing easier but also still time consuming.
As I look at life now versus our home before, while things are different I am seeing that our pace of life isn't. We had more social and family responsibilities in California but now we spend more time in the car going anywhere. It seems like one thing that once filled our time has been replaced with something else.
What I am finding is that no matter where we live, ultimately we are the ones who determine our pace. While we haven't lived here long, I have come to realize that I get to choose the pace I want for our family. Any type of fantasy I had about living in the country was actually more reflective of a vacation in the mountains.
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love living surrounded by woods and being able to take quiet walks on our dirt road. But being surrounded by beauty isn't going to necessarily change all of my priorities. Sure it is an encouraging reminder to enjoy what is around me but I see now that though I didn't have that back home, I tried to create it myself through gardening.
The things I allow to cloud my mind (the buzz of social media and the internet) or what I put on my calendar (another commitment or event) are the things that make me feel most overwhelmed. It is a choice I have to make daily on how hectic I allow life to be. So if you have been dreaming of another life somewhere else - know that unless we change our priorities, a change of scenery isn't going to necessarily get us there.
Instead how we shape our homes, our schedules, and our mindsets are more likely to change our pace than where we live. If you are striving for a more slower paced and simplified life, it is not so much about where you live but how you choose to spend your days.