When think of the generations before us, we often think of how they lived without a lot of the current technology that makes our lives easier. Dishwashers, microwaves, dryers, Instant pots, cell phones, and fast food are all things that we use quite frequently, often without a second thought. Undoubtedly, our parents and grandparents lived simpler lives, technologically speaking. Their chores may have taken longer, and they may have taken more effort, but they managed to get everything done.
However, does all of this technology make our lives better? With everything being done at such a fast pace, and without any defined borders between work and home, our lives tend to be more rushed, stressed, and busy than what they really need to be. Experiencing a national quarantine has caused a lot of people to re-evaluate what is truly needed in their lives, and I think that’s a great byproduct of a less than ideal situation.
When given an opportunity to slow down, we get to experience life in a deeper, more connected way. That feeling is what these vintage practices embody for me. These little things hark back to a time when life was slower, time was more abundant, and people took more time to repair things, or invest in a relationship.
- Sending Cards In The Mail — Who doesn’t love going out to the mailbox and finding a pretty card there waiting for you? I know I do. It might be because we haven’t lived near a lot of friends and family for a while, but it’s just a nice way to feel connected to people who may not be close by. It’s also a really fun way to let someone know you are thinking about them, especially around a birthday or a holiday. I enjoy sending cards as much as I do receiving them, and this is something I am striving to do more frequently.
- Learning How To Sew — The practicality of this skill is very obvious, but I have yet to learn how to do it! Whether it is a button falling off, or finding an unexpected tear in your favorite dress, it is nice to be able to fix it yourself, and on your timeline. I have all the tools to do it, I just need to be motivated to do it. Maybe a button will fall off something soon so I can fix it (ha)!
- Baking Your Own Bread — There is nothing like baking your own bread. It smells amazing, it tastes better, and you know everything that is in it. I’ve been trying a few different recipes, and they have all been pretty good! The best part is that you typically make two loaves at a time, so you get bread for a few weeks (if you freeze it).
- Writing Thank You Notes — I didn’t understand the importance/value of thank you notes until I had a bridal shower, a wedding, and a baby shower. Those three life events were a crash course in thank you notes, and I now know how important it is to write them. It is a simple way to show someone you care, or how you appreciate what they have done for you. This is another one of those things that is more fun to give than receive (although receiving is great too), so don’t miss the opportunity to personally thank someone!
- Wearing An Apron — This is something I just started doing, and I absolutely love it! It’s glamorous (not usually something I am concerned with), sweet, and extremely practical. If something splatters or spills while you are cooking, you are covered! If your hands get dirty, you don’t always have to reach for the sink or a towel — just wipe it on your apron and continue cooking! Pockets and pretty patterns are an added bonus.
- Gardening — Oh how I have grown to love gardening! I am still working on my watermelons and zucchini for this year, but I am really enjoying the process. There is something so rewarding about growing your own food or flowers. Being a homeowner has really allowed me to experiment with different types of flowers and plants. I learn a lot each season, and it helps me become a better gardener. It’s very exciting to watch the seeds become green plants that bloom into flowers. It’s a labor of love, and it translates well to life, as we can all learn to be better nurtures and caretakers.
To me, life is best enjoyed when it is slowed down a bit. When we take the time to stop and enjoy the little things, it is most rewarding. The above practices are just a few ways I am learning to downshift and enjoy the calm rather than the busy. If you have any other vintage practices that you enjoy, let me know! I love to hear how people simplify their lives to not only improve the quality of their life, but also the lives of those around them!