The Luxury of Living Slowly

Adaku Ufere
4 min readApr 29, 2024
Photo taken in Nairobi National Park. I was speaking at an energy conference and managed to carve out two hours to experience nature.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the art of slow living.

Earlier in the year, in the middle of another endless January, it seemed like the month was never going to end and I remember complaining about how slowly the days were going.

During that period, I read something somewhere, can’t remember if it was in a book or on Twitter. Basically someone was moaning about time being too slow and the other person said to them… “why are you in a hurry to die?”

I think my world shifted slightly when I read that.

Known for my impatience, I operate in perpetual motion, everything has to be done quickly, so I can move on to the next. Even in sleep, my thoughts are racing ahead of me, stumbling against each other, until I wake up and catch up.

It’s exhausting.

I realized I rarely take time to just slow down and enjoy anything. Even if I’m reading a book, watching tv, with friends…my mind is thinking a hundred different things, I’m checking my phone constantly, making lists, carrying out tasks in my head…

Even eating is a speed event, I can finish a meal in minutes, not tasting, not enjoying. Just eating enough to fuel my body for the next sprint.

It is so exhausting.

Why am I in a hurry to die?

Every time I look at old pictures or remember something nostalgic, I’ll think what a lovely time that was. But I was always in too much of a hurry to enjoy it. The scenes of my life just speed by, with me barely in them. The memories are there though, fantastic memories. But I wished I had dwelt more in the present, instead of constantly, always, chasing the next thing.

My life is so so lovely, far lovelier than anything I could have envisioned. So I am forcing myself to live in the moment, to enjoy the scenes that will become nostalgic once they’ve ended.

When my 3-year old daughter is determined to tie her shoe laces, instead of getting impatient and doing them for her, I’ll sit and wait and enjoy her until she’s done.

When my 1-year old daughter wants me to blow bubbles in her face for hours. I won’t hurry her into another activity, I’ll stay there and blow bubbles till thy kingdom come.

When my husband wants me to watch yet another movie with 250 police chases and 1,031 shoot outs. I’ll put my phone down, put the ear plugs in, hold his hand and snuggle.

When my mother wants to talk to me about her upcoming travels with fascinating details about what she needs to pack. I will engage. I will laugh. I will let my mother love me with conversation. Because one day she’ll be a memory and I’ll do anything to hear her voice again.

When my siblings call me with one of their “just wanted to check up on you” calls. I won’t ask them why they’re being razz and to get the hell off my phone. I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and check on them right back.

When my father calls me for yet another political conversation or family issue, teeming with Igbo proverbs that I do not understand. I will speak my Engli-Igbo, exclaim at the latest indignity and learn.

I am weary of haste. I am weary of rushing through life.

Uwa bu ofu mbia and I am finally ready to stop rushing and just enjoy it.

This was inspired as I sat on a flight from Amsterdam to Accra in February, an absolute wreck because of my stressful morning.

My initial flight had been canceled and I was so stressed out by the possibility of missing my connecting flight that I got tetchy with airport staff and burst into tears. When I finally made it on to the plane, I started to wonder why I had been so stressed? The worst would have been getting rebooked on another flight for the next day and getting put up in a hotel by the airline.

Would that have been so bad? Yet I had been in such a hurry, I nearly got myself put on a no-fly list by acting out at the airport.

In the six hours it took to reach home, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions — self-reflection, self-pity, self-awareness, and ultimately, self-realization.

Here’s to no longer fighting the universe, relinquishing control and allowing it do what it wants to do.



Adaku Ufere

Feminist | Woman in Energy | Reality TV Enthusiast | Award winning Lawyer | Bibliophile | no particular order