One of the biggest decisions we made during our family lifestyle overhaul was to move to a smaller town. In our opinion there are many advantages to moving away from the city and they all revolve around the notion of living at a slower pace; a simpler existence. We feel that it was best for our family to live in an area which encourages appreciation of your surroundings and where there is a lack of environmental stress. Perhaps the biggest advantage of living in a city is having so much entertainment available to you at all times, and yet this was one aspect of city life we were happy to leave behind.
When you live in the city you are never forced to relax, something is always open. You can eat out, shop, and be entertained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This ‘always open’ culture is a luxury within modern cities that has grown due to demand, but is this the environment that is best fit for raising our kids? Should we immerse our kids in the realities of our complicated world of convenience or rather attempt to isolate them from the ever increasing pace of society. In our opinion, when it comes for our children to learn how to cope on their own, it will be beneficial for them to understand what it is like to live at a slow pace when their life starts to speed up.
Like any luxury, once you have experienced the conveniences found in a city it is hard to give it up. Once you are used to the fast paced lifestyle, no matter how much you feel it is wearing you down, it is difficult to go back. Leaving this luxury and pace can seem like you are taking steps backwards in the progression of your life. It was hard for us to take these steps, and we are still having difficulty with certain aspects of our move, but we knew that a slower lifestyle was what we really wanted for our family. Since we grew up in a slower lifestyle Lisa and I had perspective through experience of what lifestyle really fit our personalities; we had a choice and we had the tools to make the best decision. If we raised our kids in the city will they really have any perspective on what it is like to live at a slower, more relaxed pace? All of our children will most likely live in a city at some point in their lives and when it comes for them to make the decisions about family lifestyle we want them to be able to really asses what is best for their family.
What is it about a slower pace existence that gives someone more perspective in life? Some of the reasons we have experienced are:
- Entertain yourself and not have to be entertained: There are so many forms of entertainment available these days and while most of these are fine in moderation, a slower existence mean you have to rely on being able to entertain yourself which can improve ones patience and attention span among other life skills.
- Connection with your immediate family: When you are not running around acting busy all the time you can spend a greater amount of quality time with the family. This does not have to be organized activities; it could just be goofing around in the backyard or reading stories.
- Appreciate the feeling of low stress: People always commented on how I always seemed to be one of the least stressed people they knew. I attribute this laid back attitude to the laid back lifestyle I lived as a child and the lessons I learned. The last few years, while living in the city, stress was really starting to affect me and fortunately I was able to recognize it. Steps were taken to change our lifestyle and I am starting feel what it is like to live without much stress again.
We moved away from the city to allow our kids to appreciate what it is like to live at a slower pace, a simpler existence. We realize that we cannot accomplish our goals by simply moving. It is possible to live a relaxed lifestyle in a city, just like it is possible to live a fast paced and stressful life in a small town, it really comes down to the attitude of the parents. That being said, when we lived in a city we found it hard not to be affected by the pace surrounding you, and now that we live in a more laid back environment, it is also hard not to be affected. It is challenging to give up some of the conveniences that the city provides but all in all I cannot see our family ever permanently moving back to a city, there is just too much to offer here.