PART I: MAGGIE
This year, I've become intimately aware of the old adage that time goes by faster as we age. It also seems that modern life continues to accelerate. And maybe it's the confluence of both of these – my aging perspective and life's quickening pace – that I find myself dreaming of a slower lifestyle, one that involved living more outdoors, cooking over bonfires, drinking home-grown tea, and wearing plaid. I love plaid.
Some days, I dream of selling our house and moving to an island or Vermont. Surely life would slow down if I lived in Vermont. But most days, I satisfy this yearning by scrolling through Instagram while stopped at red lights – gazing over warmly-lit videos of homesteaders, potters, and whole food chefs, all pensively smiling in impeccably curated environments. They've got it all figured out (I think to myself) and in those brief moments, I want what they're selling: a simple life. But traffic lights turn green, real life speeds up again, and, as we all know, there's very little worth striving for (or simple) on Instagram.
But while my quest to pull the brakes on time continues, starting beanstory with Katherine has been a great teacher; we've both learned lessons we'll take into this next year. And, as I'm beginning to believe, these lessons just might hold the clues I've been seeking on how to slow time down while living in a world that keeps speeding up.
PART II: KATHERINE
Time is a funny thing, how we can have a sense of moving fast or slow within a constant unit of measurement. And while I'm less about plaid and more into minimalist neutrals, I, too, am craving a slower lifestyle. Lofty ambitions, perhaps, given I live in NYC. But while my daily pace might seem antithetical to slow living ideals, I've come to believe that slowness is less about where I am, than how I feel.
This shift in belief has left me feeling noticeably different at the start of this new year. While it's hard to peg down exactly what in me has changed, it's not difficult to figure out why. It's been a transformative year: we launched beanstory, which has changed the way I approach food and cooking and turned a seemingly simple act into something so much richer; I experienced trips that felt less like travel and more like life journeys; and, perhaps the most impactful event of all, my family brought a puppy, named Leo, into our home.
Talk about small choices creating big change! Weighing only 12 lbs on his first day home, Leo has changed everything - some of which was predictable (ahem, time for new rugs!), but some was not. In particular, those early morning walks that I was truthfully dreading, have proven to be as good for me as they are for the dog! When I walk Leo, I'm not on my phone or checking email. There are no podcasts or calls. I'm present. Amidst the chaos and bustle of city life, I've found my slow.
So, while someday I, too, hope to write a New Year's post from Vermont, I'm loving these hectic yet amazing years and relishing in the small moments to pause. Exactly where I am.
PART III: LESSONS FOR 2023
We sit on different coasts, but share common values and vision. Here are the lessons we'll carry with us in 2023:
Be mindful - Modern life is engineered to foster constant forward motion. Because of that, it's easy for our minds to get ahead of the moment we're in. We're pronouncing 2023 our Year of the Present Moment - walking the dog, walking in the park, or writing an email are all opportunities for us to center ourselves and slow down.
Stay curious - This has been a serious year of learning for both of us. We've experienced first hand how following interests and jumping into the deep end, no matter how daunting, makes the moments feel meaningful. We're all for more of this in the year ahead.
Set meaningful and achievable goals - Being in the moment, doesn't mean not planning ahead. One of us is a reformed procrastinator; the other is quite the opposite (can you guess who is who?). But having goals sets a common ground and helps steer the boat in the right direction.
Take small steps - Small incremental changes to our daily lives add up over time - ten minutes of yoga, two minutes or journaling, even soaking beans overnight can feel less like a chore and more of a welcomed ritual when bigger intentions are kept in mind. We're both big believers in the power of small shifts over time. 2023 is the year we're launching the beanstory shop and we're excited to meet one new bean believer at a time.
We don't need a lot, to have plenty.
Happy New Year!
- Maggie + Katherine