About Slow Change
I created this blog way back in 2012 as an outlet for the words that spun about my head all day. Back then I didn’t have an explicit purpose for starting a blog, but I had a sense that my thoughts would coalesce somewhere – and they did – in the idea of a slower, simpler life. For many years I wrote about the changes that my family and I made to our life, in the hope that it might help someone else slow down, and live more simply too.
Although that’s where Slow Change began, as our lives changed, so did the blog. For a while it morphed into a platform for sharing my family’s health journey with loved ones, as well as a kind of therapy for me to delve into my own struggles with health and my efforts to become well again. Then we moved to the Macedon Ranges in 2016 and I hoped to share the day to day experiences of turning our 2 acre pocket of paradise into a thriving permaculture property. At that time it had been 3 years since I’d left corporate life to focus on my health. I hoped that some fresh air and physical work in the garden would restore me to full health – and things went pretty well to begin with. I took my first step back into gainful employment in early 2019, but the rollercoaster of 2020 knocked me right back on my arse, and I found myself back on the bench again.
Here we are now, mid 2021, and I’m feeling ready for a new challenge. I’m by no means 100% well, but I am a little clearer about what I can and can’t manage. There’s lots to share about our progress on the block, and plenty of new ideas swirling around my head that I can’t wait to share.
I’m still really focussed on the idea of the village and being part of a community. I think we all crave that and feel a bit hard done by in our isolated lives. We look around and think ‘where’s my village gone?’ Slow Change started out as my way of sharing ideas with the village, spreading the word, and bringing people together. As an introvert with health struggles, it’s not always easy for me to be out there in the village connecting people, but sharing what I’ve learned through writing is one way that I can contribute and give back. It’s also one of the ways I create meaning for myself.
It’s many years since I wrote consistently, but I’m excited to come back to it. It’s where I find my flow; it’s what makes me come alive. I’m inspired by this quote:
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.howard Thurman
I’m Emily, a 47 year old woman, living in the Macedon Ranges with my husband Scott and our 11 year old daughter. We also share our home with Scott’s older kids, who come out to stay with us when they can spare a moment in their busy teenage lives.
Back in 2016, Scott came out the other side of cancer for the second and hopefully last time. That. was rollercoaster of chemo, radiation, surgery and recovery. He’s now living the high life without a rectum. It’s not great, but it’s better than the alternative. His first cancer 9 years ago gave us the chance to slow down and reflect on what was really important, and we realised that time was more important to us than money. We tried to move to the country; a tree change; but relocating our blended family turned out to be pretty impractical. That’s when we came up with our slow change. Rather than downsizing and moving house we started to make small, slow changes to how we engaged with the world around us.
Both of us now work part time by choice, and feel incredibly fortunate to have that choice. We spend less money and have less stuff than we used to, but we still seem to have a lot of stuff. I’m always finding ways to get rid of a little more! We think a lot about what we consume, what we need and what brings us joy. We do what we can to eat local, seasonal, ethical food but in a family with health issues that’s not always easy, or even possible. We’ve done away with processed food, chemical laden, toxic consumables and a fair amount of plastic. There’s so much more we could do and sometimes I feel guilty for not doing enough. On those days I remind myself that each buying decision is an opportunity to make a better choice. One thing we’ve figured out is that there’s no right answer, but if you cultivate the habit of trusting your instincts you get better at making the right decisions for you.
Thanks for checking out Slow Change and reading some of my words. I hope I might plant a seed that grows into something just right for you. I often wonder if I’m compelled to share because someone out there needs to hear exactly these words. Maybe that person is you.