05 September 2014

Pace


I live in an area that is popular with tourists, starting in Spring the roads get steadily busier and we encounter the occasional queue!  For a few weekends in August the traffic through our village becomes unbearable as several large events are held in our village and the next one to us.  The volume in itself would be just about bearable but coupled with the speed it becomes very noisy and dangerous.

We chose to live in a rural area as we love the peace and quiet.  We are situated on a main road which enables us to get out and about easily, it is a quiet road by the standards of many main roads.  When the traffic is heavier I have noticed how much more agitated and on edge this makes me feel.  The noise that hundreds of cars travelling 10 to 20 miles in excess of the speed limit is difficult to block out, coupled with my need to know where the children are at at all times and I am not a good person to be around.

We have speed limits on our roads, in built up areas whether in a village, town or city this is 20 - 30 mph, a limit imposed to keep us all safe in and out of vehicles.  An accident at speeds higher than this could be very serious.  There are some that argue that speeding is not the major cause of accidents in this country and use this as an argument against speed cameras.  I note that they are not arguing about the removal of speed limits.  So why is it that if we break the law by speeding and get caught on camera this is felt by some to be an injustice.  We are lucky as are most people in the world, to live in a country with governance (what we think of that is a whole other post) that enables law and order to thrive and whilst there are citizens who break the law they are very much in the minority (again this could be disputed but is not up for discussion now).  So why is it in a country of (mostly) law abiding citizens so many feel it is acceptable to ignore the law when they drive a car?

I took my children to the cinema the other week, they were very excited not least because it was a film they both really wanted to see and because it was their first time watching a film in a cinema.  Well strictly it was the second time for my eldest but he doesn't remember the first time so that doesn't really count in his book.  The Lego Movie was fun to watch but I missed so much of it, it was so fast paced.  If I tried to watch the visuals, I missed the audio and if I listened to the audio, I missed most of the visual.  I guess this probably deliberate to get you to watch the film over and over again, not that I am cynical or anything.   I couldn't help feeling that it was also deliberate as life in general for most is fast paced.  Rushing from one thing to another, dipping your toe in many things but not with any real chance of savouring any of it or with any real concentration or connection with what you are doing.  Instant gratification is the key.  I often watch school groups in museums who seem to flit like flies from one exhibit to another herded by a harried looking adult trying to stick to a schedule that is difficult to achieve and with no chance for the children to really concentrate and absorb the things that they are really interested in.

Sometimes I look at the world around me and think that I have entered a different vortex.  My life is slow and steady.  I am fortunate that I rarely have to rush about, which is a good thing as I know it would send me to an early grave.  My life is far from dull, it is rich.  I enjoy the simple pleasures, I am happy to wait whilst my children spend twenty minutes absorbed on something, concentration is a useful skill to have.  But sometimes I cannot help feeling that my life is at odds with the world, that I am pushing against a very large tide that is growing exponentially.  It is easy for me to hide away in my own world but sometimes I feel that is not for the best, that I should be out there extolling the virtues of a slower pace.  Somehow I think I could be left behind in the rush.

13 comments:

  1. You are not alone in thinking as you do - I am a great believer in there being more to life than increasing its speed! I wonder sometimes whether the more things we have, the more choices, the more communication, the more... the less time we can spend on actually concentrating on any of it. It's one of the reasons I love walking since when I am out putting one foot in front of the other my mind slows down and I am able to actually see things properly rather than as a blur seen in passing!

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  2. I think I have removed myself so far from the 'real world' I don't know that I would be able to live in it anymore. I've already been left behind and that doesn't matter. It's a different thing when you are raising children. That world will be theirs.

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  3. I know how you feel. It does seem like everybody is alway rushing about and that nobody has any 'time'. Like you I often feel that my life is at odds with the world, that's one of the reasons I'm very grateful for the internet that offers me the possibility to connect with others - like yourself. Just a shame we can all meet up for 'rea'l!!
    I often daydream about living when things were largely dictated by the seasons, the sun and moon - I does seem that 'modern' life seeks ever more to over-ride these naturals rhythms. I wonder where it will all end!

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  4. I think there are more and more of us trying to living slowly and with intention, savouring each moment. You're right, though. It can be so difficult when everyone else around is hurrying to the next "thing"!

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  5. one of the things I stressed most about when we were on our holiday down south was the traffic, both the speed and the aggressiveness of it. we knew we were nearly home when we got stuck behind a tractor and everyone just drove behind it without trying to rush past knowing they would get home soon enough.

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  6. I always crave peace and quiet and a slow pace to life. Rushing about pushes my stress levels into the red. But I know exactly what you mean about finding that everyone else is speeding about the place. I agree with you totally about speeding, it makes me really angry. Some people seem to think it's cool, and fine because they're such excellent drivers. Grrr. Wishing you a calm and quiet weekend. CJ xx

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  7. I hear you. Growing up in rural Canada life was slow paced - almost excruciatingly slow. Summer went on forever. When I left home and moved to the city everything seemed so fast - working, getting to and from work... it left very little time for anything else. Moving to Shetland life slowed down a lot.... then I had children! I do crave the peace and quiet and I make sure to have that for myself every evening - to recharge and unwind. I've only ever sped in my car once and that was the first time I overtook another car. I was terrified of being on the wrong side of the road and went too fast to get by. I rarely even overtake these days - happy to potter along at 40 behind the Sunday drivers. I'll get there when I get there!

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  8. You have voiced my feelings precisely, Sustainable Mum. I do not thrive at all well in our past paced world, I even thoroughly dislike it (and that includes folks who speed in residential areas - arghh!). We definitely need to voice the need for life lived at a slower pace more - posts like these are a gem. xxx

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  9. I think the world is going mad, it's like one of those speeded up videos with people rushing about from one place to another, doing one thing and then another, without taking the time to appreciate life. I'm all for a slow pace but it's so hard to attain when everyone around you is going at a different speed.

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  10. I hear you about all of this, it's a little unsettling at times to go against the crowd just by slowing down but at least we know that our lives are all the richer for going slow. I also agree completely with the fast paced, LOUD, movies being made in recent years and it makes me a little sad to think that older "classic" movies are just too slow(boring) for our kids nowadays - or too "wholesome". Sigh. Thank you for this thoughtful post! xo

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  11. I do believe you and I would get along quite nicely. I too am easily overwhelmed by the fast pace of the world we live in. Although we have chosen to live rurally, it still seems that life is still moving a time a much faster pace than I would like. This is such a thoughtful post, and I enjoyed reading it immensely.

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  12. I came over to visit after reading your comment on my blog, thank you for visiting. And I am so glad I have had the chance to read your blog. You come across as a gentle, loving soul. I love the way you live your life, how you are raising your children. There is so much materialism in the world today, so much greed, so much need to do and have things NOW. Patience is a virtue that seems long forgotten sometimes. Taking time to 'stand and stare' something that many people think is available only to the elderly who have nothing better to do with their time. Or so they think.
    I am lucky in that apart from health issues, I have no stresses in my life, no need to rush hither and yon, no demands on my time other than those I self-impose... and really I have no need to do that either. In my sixties now, and finally for the last decade or so, able to be who I really am, not what was expected of me. A revelation to be able to do what I want, when I want. Yes, it sounds selfish. Yes it sounds hedonistic possibly. But it's my life after all, a whole lot more behind than there is ahead and I intend to live as I want, providing I hurt nobody, ie my husband (married 37 years today) and closest friends. I read a lot, write, craft, bake, daydream, snooze in the afternoon, stargaze and cloudwatch. Rather antisocial too...and I understand what you mean about those who think it's OK to break the speed limit. They often do through our village as well, and I live on the main road through it.
    And I love the area where you live. When I could travel, it was our favourite holiday destination, and indeed where we had our honeymoon.

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  13. I am afraid I am all caught up in the speed of life. Not because I want to but because there is always so much to do and so little time to do it. I do however make time to recharge my batteries and those of my four children. A little here and there goes a long way. As for speeding drivers in our neighbourhood, I tend to wave my arms at them, in a slowing down kind of motion, pointing at children (if there are any near me). I have been terribly abused for pointing out driver mistakes but I just have no patience for selfish drivers at all. I hope you had a peaceful weekend. Cx

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