Slow Essentials

From the beginning of Splendor, I’ve written posts about “the Essentials” – you can search for those posts using the search bar. These are items and concepts that I consider absolutely indispensable for the Diva lifestyle. I still have more of those to write, but with this post, I’m going in a slightly different direction and asking you to consider “slow essentials.” These are small things that you can incorporate into your everyday life that will basically make you slow down a little bit. Oh, don’t worry – you can still get through most of the items on your “to do” list, but with a little effort, working through that list will be a bit more joyful.

Let’s start with five basic slow essentials, most of which I’m still working on developing into everyday habits.

  1. Begin your day without screens. Try drinking your morning coffee (for me, it’s coffee; for you, it may be something else) without also reading or watching the news. Just focus – truly focus – on the coffee. The color, the aroma, the taste – give yourself time to really take it all in. (I’ll admit, this one is hard for me. At the very least, start the day without reading/watching the news. It’ll still be there. Solve a puzzle, listen to a favorite song, try a language lesson.)
  2. The next time you’re at your favorite thrift shop, look for vintage linens and consider buying – and using! – cotton handkerchiefs instead of crumpled paper tissues. I have a few and – while I’m still trying to teach myself this habit – I always enjoy the feel of the cloth instead of just plain old paper. They wash quite easily and they’re usually printed with flowers and ribbons and things, lending you a touch of elegance. Plus, at a thrift shop, they’re about the price of Kleenex. Side note – and a true story. My husband is a Southern gentleman, which means that he is seldom without a pocket knife and a handkerchief. During an conference presentation, the presenter became a little emotional and the Tall One stood up and offered her his (clean) handkerchief. Her response – “I’m supposed to put MY FACE in this??” – is still quoted to this day.
  3. At work, set a timer. Research is very clear on this – staring endlessly into a screen is bad for your eyes and your body, which is meant to move, not to sit in a nigh-stationary position for hours on end. Timers can remind you to push back from the desk, stand and stretch, maybe take a three-minute walk outside, and return refreshed. (Try these for a starting point!)
  4. Miley Cyrus was right – you really CAN buy yourself flowers! Pick them up as regularly as you pick up groceries. When you get them home, unwrap them, trim the ends on a sharp angle, and spend a few minutes arranging them to suit you.
  5. OK – this is probably the strange one. Buy a fountain pen. Now, hear me out – and read this link. No, they don’t have to be expensive. Yes, you can get all sorts of fun-colored inks. And no, they’re not messy – trust me here, I’m a lefty and am used to smearing ink. Modern fountain pens can use ink that dries quite quickly and it’s actually fun to play with your own handwriting. Here’s a beginner’s guide that just might get you hooked!

Slow down, Divas. Live with gusto and savoir faire!





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