04 October 2012


my photo - magazine: Ravages, 7th issue (winter 2011)
I've got nothing but time, so the future is mine.
- Metric (Nothing But Time, in Synthetica)

We are in a world where fast is good. Productivity is about completing a task as quickly as possible, and we seem to be always rushing through our days to meet deadlines, appointments, catch trains and flights... And down time is viewed as wasted time. "Time is money", as goes the saying. And we often feel that we don't have time for anything.

But more and more people get fed up with this life 'stuck on fast forward' as Carl Honoré puts it. This reaction against the acceleration of our lives is called the slow movement, and it started in the early 90's in Italy through a slow food movement.

It now expanded to a vast array of life elements, with one common idea: we need to slow down, enjoy the present more instead of focusing on a future goal all the time. It is about focusing on quality time rather than gatting as much quantity done as possible. It is about making the best instead of the most of it.

I've laid my hands on the magazine pictured above last Christmas, the 7th issue of Ravages called Slow that focuses on many aspects of the slow movement. The magazine is in French but I have dropped a short biography below if you want to check out what's published in your native language.

I have digged it up recently, afraid that moving to Paris would make me hop on the high speed train of city life and forget to slow down and enjoy the present moment. So here are a few examples of things I do to avoid this and slow down:

  • I wake up one hour earlier in the morning to start off the day at my own pace: coffee, radio and a good read
  • I always take the time to eat properly at lunch (unless special emergency)
  • I  enjoy commuting time: getting in front of the (automatic) line 1 and pretending I'm driving the thing, enjoying the view when walking in the streets
  • I reserve a few moments for myself in the evening: a gaming moment with my X360, a good book...
  • Sometimes, I just take a book and my wallet, and I go read at a Starbucks while sipping a Chai Tea latte on my own
  • I vary my running circuit in order to discover new places around my neighborhood, then go walk there when I find a good spot

This slow movement intrigues me a lot, and this post is more of a light introduction of the concept. I'll probably post more detailed entries about various aspects of it in the future on this blog.

Slow movement reads
Ravages magazine, issue 7 (winter 2011) in French
Carl Honoré - In Praise of Slow (l'éloge de la lenteur) - English version available
Pascale d'Erm - Vivre plus lentement, un nouvel art de vivre (no English translation found) - French here
Cécile Andrews - Slow is Beautiful: New visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre - Here

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