I know you don't really need a 'challenge' in your life at this exact moment. Perhaps it's more of a consideration. And I wanted to catch you before the weekend and the epic hype that is shopping.
Over last weekend I was in many Auckland supermarkets on behalf of our business. I got a snout-full of Christmas traffic and shopping stress. For 3 hours I ran a little table at the entrance to one supermarket. You know, the table where you look the other way and rush past to get into the shop? Yea, that one. What a great people watching location. Such a mix of the world flowed by.
Last year I started playing with Slow Shopping, only because the first time there was no way around it. I was JUST coming off of crutches from a rolled ankle, and knew if I went very slowly through the shop, keeping the cart always to hand, I could get through it.
And what a revelation!
I got to see the shop, staff and customers in the same way as if I was standing at a table in front of the supermarket. I met childrens' eyes, I stayed out of the way of people in an almighty focused rush (some of whom looked seriously stressed and had zero self-awareness- oh, um like me most of the time, I realised). I enjoyed gently giving way to everyone in the aisle, helping oldies (who are natural people watchers and reasonably bemused by all of our "focus"), and watching everyone as they passed. I left the shop feeling very relaxed. Organised. Connected.
Since then, I've had to really challenge myself to do the Slow Shop. My inclination is to get through as FAST and focused as possible. Sound familiar? This way of shopping is actually quite stressful. Your breathing gets shallow, you see other carts and people as obstacles and you groan at the laden trolley ahead of you at checkout.
My theory is that if you take the extra 15 minutes to do a Slow Shop, you gain more than an hour in the mood and energy recovery you need on the other side of a Fast Shop. So, Slow is Fast.
Even knowing that Slow is Fast, it's still incredibly tricky to do a Slow Shop. It may get you to realise how entrenched your rushing habit is. I hope it makes you laugh.
I wish you all the best as you prepare your home for the summer holidays. I'm sure there's plenty of shopping in your frame. Will you try a Slow Shop? Would love to hear how you go. Perhaps I'll put your comments in our next post!
We're going to get quiet for the next couple of weeks to enjoy our kids and as much outdoor time as possible. I'll catch up with you in January.
Blessings to you and yours, Bex