How You Too Can Have
Many years ago now,
when I lived in inner city Melbourne, my friend Rob
visited from New Zealand. Rob also had traveled around
the world and had, had a very eventful life. So after a
few days when he
commented that I had a country lifestyle whilst living in the
I began to wonder what it
was that I did. He also commented along the lines that
we didn’t rush about, that everything hummed around our home
life and that I wasn’t motoring my girls here and
He was right. We had
plenty of time to do everything and everything we did, we did
with plenty of time.
My day followed a routine,
which included rituals, and everyone knew what was done, when
it was done, and what would happen next. I had rituals
with the way I would say the same phrase to my daughters first
thing in the morning. “It is now time to get up and
bless your day!” I had a ritual question that was asked
at every meal. “What was the best part of your day,
today?” I followed a sequence of events that were
the same, every night an hour before bedtime, and our bedtime
routine was adhered to night after night after
To cap it all off I
even had a routine of how we all got in the car the same
way, every time. This was done in age order.
The youngest first, and when she had outgrown her baby seat
she sat in the front and her older sister spread herself
out in the back of
the car. Even though they
are much older my daughters still do
Going places was made
simpler and easier by shopping at the same shops that were in
a walking distance from our home. We made friends with
our local greengrocer, butcher, deli and newsagent.
Every time we shopped we made out we were having a social
visit and always chatted to the shop owners. I hardly
ever took my daughters into my local supermarket.
On Sundays I would drop off
my weekly shopping list to the nearest check out person and on
Mondays about noon, Sam the Supermarket Man would deliver my
order and have my change ready. If ever he didn’t have
what I had asked for he brought a replacement and never
charged me. When it was time for us to leave the city he
told us that he always looked forwards to Mondays and doing my
When we needed some fresh air I
would take my daughters to the corner playground or a walk in
the nearby reserve, or to a bigger playground that was down
the road and around the corner. We lived our city life
as if we were in a country
My daughters did not
expect to have outings and be taken places every day in the
car. On occasions I would take them to the local library
and for them this was considered a special event. They
did not even know what a McDonalds was until they were much
We always had time to hang
about at home. We played, cooked, did the chores and
generally hung out. I had the philosophy that if I
hadn’t done all the chores by the time my eldest daughter had
gone to bed … was that left over didn’t get done. There
was always tomorrow.
had an ultimate experience of a do nothing day in our
home. Every now and again we would have a pajama
day. We spent the whole day in our pajamas. How
The fact that our home was in the city on these
days never occurred to us, it felt more and more that we lived
in the country. After these days we all woke bright eyed
and bushy tailed able to take on the world, no matter
More than once people
commented on our ease of living and how I only did one thing
at a time and how I always had time for whatever my girls
wanted me to do with them and how smoothly our lives seemed to
be and how extraordinary my daughters were. But more
often the comments were that whenever people visited it never
felt as if they were visiting us in the city … it always felt
to them that we were living in the country.
Step By Step
And Tips For You
· Have routines and rituals and an order
of events for your day.
Have routines and rituals for
Do only one thing at a time and if
something isn’t finished or done by
time your eldest child goes to bed, do it
Shop at the same shops and incorporate
shopping into a social event.
To save even more time have your
supermarket take your shopping order
either by telephone, fax, email or hand
delivered and then have them deliver
your home. You don’t even have to take your children
Outings can be to the local
playground/s, parks, ovals and libraries.
· Have a smaller radius of shops, etc.
around where you live that you frequent,
you may even find you get in and out of the
car less and less.
For the ultimate experience of a do
nothing day have a pajama day. Spend
all day doing less of everything in your
· Act as if you live in the country and
that life around you is like living in a
country village, no matter where you live.
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