The only subscription that Fabien and I have to anything is Netflix.
We love to curl up on the couch to watch something after supper, whether it be a brainless late-night comedy or a thought-provoking documentary. Recently, I have been devouring the series “When Calls the Heart” – a highly romanticized and TV-perfect portrayal of frontier life in the early 1900s.
While I know that real life on the frontier was fraught with violence, back-breaking work and short lifespans, there is still that little, tiny part of myself that dreams of being transported to the fictitious town of Hope Valley. Where travel was done by horseback and stage coach, not racing in a car from point A to B. Where people stopped to talk to one another, not continually rushing off to be somewhere else. Where each moment was cherished and the company of others was genuinely enjoyed, not shared and compared on social media. Where life was slow.
It seems to me that the more convenient our lives became, the more hurried they became as well. As a society, we were enthralled (and rightfully so) by new inventions that gave us the ability to accomplish many things at once. And that interest hasn’t dissipated. We are in the midst of a frantic race to create newer, smarter and more efficient technologies that will make our lives easier, faster…at the tips of our fingers, at the sound of our voice.
We are a society ruled by technology. Our lives are lived through screens. Most interactions of the day are done virtually: email, text, social sharing, online banking, online shopping, (soon) self-driving cars…and yet all of these social aspects of our lives are isolating us from one another. We hardly have to speak to anyone anymore, except to the artificial intelligences in our phones, computers, speakers, cars, houses…
And that’s where slow living comes in.
The concept is not a new one. In fact, it is becoming increasingly popular as people are realizing the short-comings of our technological society. People like us who have stopped to think – shouldn’t our top priority be those around us? Our family, our neighbours, our community? Shouldn’t we relish in the opportunity to share experiences with one another, not through Instagram stories and Snapchats but through real life?
While Hope Valley in “When Calls the Heart” might be my first choice for a slow living escape, I know that it is more than possible here in our own lives. We love being outside, digging in the dirt, caring for our animals, hiking, exploring and truly being with one another. Our phones are put away when we’re at home, and we focus on cooking together, crafting together, and playing with our puppy.
We can’t control the way life operates when we step off our little farm, but we can make the conscious effort to slow it down when we come home. It might not be frontier life, but it’s our life. And that’s just the way we like it.