"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” - Eleanor Roosevelt*
Today I burst into tears an extraordinary amount of times. I burst into tears when I couldn't remember my password for an email account. I sobbed pitifully as I realised I was about to miss a deadline for a submission. I even cried when I couldn't open a jar of new jam to spread on some toast I'd made to comfort myself.
It's safe to say that I'm more than a little tired.
What makes it worse is the underlying sense of frustration that this was not meant to be how my glorious start to Autumn began. All Summer I have journeyed to new places, collected stories to share with you all and learned so much about myself along the way. I always knew my theme for September would be about sustainability but when I looked at the definition in preparing this post at long last, I reeled at how apt it seemed.
1. The ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed
2. The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.
It's funny isn't it? In my exploration of how we can source locally, invest in makers and slow down our consumerism to ensure a better future for everyone, I learned the biggest lesson of all: it's about the support we give to the values we uphold. If I can't live by my own beliefs, what's the point?
I needed to slow down my pace and pause to really reflect and nourish the ideas that are growing inside me so that I could communicate them in a mindful way. Just as I was sniffling into a tissue I saw Sarah, of Orla and Me share a post about Slow Living that really spoke to me. More than her quip about needing more than crumpled linen tea towels in that concept, this spoke directly to me:
"That never-ending cycle of need and work. If we needed less, we could work less. & somewhere in there, all my talk of ‘slow living’ and ‘minimalism’ meet. I was so busy chasing things to make me happy that I’ve been forgetting to actually feel that happiness." **
Life is fast and often you can get into a pace that you simply can't maintain. In striving for excellence we think we need the best, the most expensive, the thing that everyone else seems to have. However, in journeying and listening to others stories this Summer I learned the greatest lesson of sustainability: nothing will thrive without sensitive and considered support. As a single mother, my support is limited and so I must slow down to nurture those roots and branches that keep me grounded. It's vitally important.
So this is my lesson that I take forward this month. There will be no schedule for the podcast or blog. I will publish these stories joyfully and in the way they were intended: with love and investment in their importance. I have stories to share with you about prolonging the life of what we have already, producing in a way that nurtures our Earth and creating in a way that doesn't damage or harm. These are stories of people who are investing in a way that causes the least possible damage as possible and anchors them within their craft and communities.
In the meantime, my bed is calling and it says if I slept more, I might just stand a chance of remembering a password once in a blue moon. I can only hope.
* with thanks to Ruthie at Rain cloud & Sage for her prompt to start each month with a quote that is particuarly resonating at that time. This was a thought provoking exercise x
** There's some lovely reminders and thoughts on Slow Living at the moment being hosted by some of my favourite online people on Instagram: #thisthingcalledslowliving, #findingtimeforslowliving & #slowliving_create