Slow Living Challenge Week 5: Time

Let’s talk about time. “The truth is that we have the same amount of time as did our ancestors and our grandparents. The difference is in how we choose to spend it.”

Perhaps you read the above quote with a feeling of resistance, or even anger. Maybe the first thought that came to your mind was “...but I have NO time!” 

Of course, you are not alone. Most people in our current culture probably feel that way. We say it to ourselves and each other constantly. We have jobs, children, families, bills to pay, responsibilities, commitments, commutes and schedules. And there are far too many struggling without the support they need to put food on the table, or to keep themselves and families safe and healthy. So few of our fellow humans on the planet feel like they have any choice in how to spend those twenty four hours a day.

Breath. Slow down this week. Find time in your day that you didn’t know was there, join us as we explore these practices and challenges. Live with intention and experience the moment you are in.

Be sure to tag us for a chance to win this week’s challenge prize: a YEAR LONG Almanac membership and book from Lady Farmer. 

  1. Take a minute or two in the morning to think about how you are spending your day. Observe your thoughts and feelings regarding everything that needs to happen. Throughout the day, try to determine when you do have a choice about how to spend a moment (look at my phone or look at the view?) and try not to judge things that are out of your control (stop lights, lines, etc.)
  2. Reframe the time you spend waiting. Remember that it doesn’t have to be “wasted” time. Observe the thought that you “should be” doing something else, or that you are being held back, and replace it with relief at the chance to be aware of your breathing and your surroundings.
  3. At least one time this week, find a place where you can spend five minutes just sitting quietly and doing absolutely nothing. Check in with yourself. Embrace the pause. Tell yourself, “I have this time.” Notice how slowly the time seems to pass! 
  4. At  the end of the week, look back and take note of when you were able to “glean” any moments that might have otherwise been lost? Did you have any sense of found time or relief from the pressure of it? 
  5. After doing this for a few days or a week, has your sense of time, or lack of it, shifted in any way? Consider journaling your days and carving out time each week for reflection.

So let’s talk about time. We’ll start by rephrasing that constant refrain in our heads about having no time, and clarify that by saying “I feel like I have no time to do the things I want to do, need to do, live the way I want to live, or (fill in the blank)...but I have time.”

We have time because we are alive. So here is where we start, by recognizing that we are alive and we have time to breathe. We might not feel like it, but we do, because if we didn’t we would die.  From there we can start noticing all of the things we do have time for. If we are gifted with the miracle of sight, then we have time to look. Maybe we don’t have time to eat leisurely meals, but if we put anything at all in your mouth, food or drink, then we have time to taste. If we’re lucky enough to have hearing, then we have time to perceive the sounds around us. Better yet, even while doing other tasks or going from one place to the next, we have time to listen. We have time to feel the cold winter wind or the warm shower, to smell the rain, food cooking, the baby’s skin…  

Whatever our circumstances, what if we could shift our narrative of scarcity around time,  and replace it with a feeling of more space in the unfolding of our day, even while doing everything it is that we have to do? Much like the gleaners from ancestral times who would go into the fields after the harvest to find food that had been left behind, we can gather more time for ourselves by gleaning the many moments that are simply lost to unawareness. 

If there is only one thing you can do for this week’s challenge, try interrupting the voice of the culture that’s telling you there is never enough, and replace it with a simple message to yourself. 


“I have time.”  


See if this shifts your day. And if you’re up for five more ways to find time in your day that you didn’t know was there,  join us this week as we explore these practices and challenges. 

Learn about living with intention, finding lost time, and slowing down on The Good Dirt podcast.

Join Mary, Emma, and the Lady Farmer community inside The ALMANAC this month to participate in group forums, weekly meet-ups, and advanced resources to take The Slow Living Challenge to the next level.