This week on the blog, we got the opportunity to speak with Geneva of Cosmic America about her passion for slow living and her and her family’s decision to leave behind city life for a slower pace in Joshua Tree.
We were so inspired by this beautiful interview and are sure you will be too.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! My name is Geneva! My husband and I moved from San Diego to Joshua Tree when our daughter was a newborn in search of a simpler, slower pace of life. We have lived here for almost 4 years now, and we both work from our little cabin home (he retained his job as an editor when we moved from the city, and I work part time at a local design firm and also “create content” for my Instagram account and blog). Living here we feel very connected, within our little family unit, with nature & with our community.
How do you start your day? Any morning routines?
Every morning when the sun comes up, I awaken to the sound of the door of my daughter Prairie’s bedroom door open and her little feet pitter-pattering down the hallway. She then hops in bed with us for morning snuggles, which is the best way to start the day! Once we get up, I usually have coffee and check in on work emails. Then I make breakfast for Prairie, and we get prepared for whatever we are up to that day!
What would your perfect morning look like?
My most favorite mornings are when we are travelling, and we have just arrived someplace the night before in the dark. There is nothing like that feeling of discovery when you open a window and see someplace in the daylight for the first time!
Can you share any tips for starting your day off right?
A lot of mornings Prairie and I do yoga together (either the book Good Morning Yoga, or the web series Cosmic Kids), and that is a nice way to start the day!
Not checking messages in the morning sounds like a nice idea but is not practical for me. I have recently learned about the downtime feature on my phone which has been working really well for me. I have all apps silenced from 9:00-1:00pm in order to remind me to be present with my daughter.
What does a typical breakfast look like for you?
I am actually not much a breakfast eater and would prefer not to eat before 10:00 or 11:00 am. But that timing doesn’t really fit into the schedule of a young child - so I will usually have either a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal with fruit as early as I can muster it. That way I don’t start feeling super hangry in the middle of whatever we are doing.
Coffee drinker of a tea drinker?
I drink a cup of good coffee every morning but have recently gotten into the fun ritual of tea time. I was inspired by @wholefamilyrhythms to start incorporating tea time into our daily routine. All three of us enjoy the ritual of brewing and enjoying a nice pot of tea together.
What sparked your passion for slow living?
I remember going kayaking with my husband while I was pregnant with Prairie. We had this discussion that lead to a realization that ended up bringing about a sea of change in our lives. Basically, we realized that our values in life did not align with our lifestyle. Although we both value hard work and being useful members of society, neither of cared out being upwardly mobile in our careers. We realized that we’d prefer more time with our newly growing family to more prestige or money.
What inspired your move to Joshua Tree?
My sister introduced me to Joshua Tree when we moved to San Diego, and I instantly fell in love with the place. Andy and I got married here several years ago, and we would always toss around the idea of moving here. After I had Prairie and my maternity leave was drawing to a close, I did not feel ready to leave her and go back to work. Andy approached his work about switching to remote, and thankfully they agreed. But we couldn’t afford San Diego’s cost of living on just one salary, so suddenly this dream of ours to move to Joshua Tree started to seem like a plausible solution.
Any tips for someone looking to transition to a slower paced life?
Anyone can benefit from intentionally slowing down, even just or a bit. That is why the concept of self-care is so trendy right now! In my opinion, the best way to do so is to get outside. Whether it be going for a hike, enjoying a picnic someplace picturesque, or just goofing around searching for ladybugs in your backyard with a little kid, freeing yourself of modern distractions and enjoying some fresh air always feels good.
A good morning starts with a good night’s sleep! How do you wind down at night?
I’ve always been a great sleeper. Seriously- my parents like to joke and say that I was the only kid in the world whose parents had to wake her up on Christmas morning! I once even slept through an earthquake while my family was living in San Francisco. So, I must admit that I do not follow what would be considered very good sleep hygiene. Since becoming a parent, I usually just pass out in the middle of whatever show we are binging at the moment.
Once I entered my thirties though, I started having more problems with soreness and discomfort waking me up in the night or making me feel badly in the morning. Making the very grownup investment in a nice mattress, pillows, and sheets has helped me to get better quality rest.
What are you reading right now?
The most recent book I read is Simplicity Parenting. I’ve only read two parenting books, because usually they just make me feel like I am doing everything wrong. But I really enjoyed this one, it is all about breaking free from the cycle of “too much, too fast, too soon” that has become so prevalent in our culture.
I also really enjoy the work of surgeon-writer-researcher Atul Gawandi- he has a way of breaking down complex scientific & philosophical concepts in a way that is really palatable. I read his book Better while pregnant and have been wanting to reread it.
3 bloggers/Instagrammers/change makers that inspire you?
I am constantly inspired by my bosses/friends at @thejoshuatreehouse’s thoughtful approach to design & life in general. They’ve been working so hard to renovate this expansive, gorgeous adobe inn in Tucson, and are now nearing the home stretch. I am really excited to see this project come to fruition!
(Note: Stay tuned for our upcoming collab with The Joshua Tree House!)
My sweet neighbor @nicolegranato_ & her husband Khan recently rescued two racehorses and they have been rehabilitating them in a corral they built in the lot between my house and hers. I’ve never considered myself much of a horse person but getting to spend so much time so close to these two gorgeous creatures, I have totally fallen in love with them.
Ana of @mimiandlei was one of the first mom friends I made out here, and in the years since then our little daughters have become inseparable. I know firsthand how hard it can be to find your own thing as a stay at home. So watching Ana her grow her passion for weaving into a thriving business has been super inspirational and cool!