Slowing Down

Too often in my life, I have lived as if my life were a swiftly rushing river.  I came from a hyper family and fit right in.  One of the things I’m still learning is how to slow myself down!

rushing river

Rushing River

Much of my work life I juggled rearing my daughter alone, several part-time teaching  jobs, driving nearly 100 miles most days, and writing. When I look back at that time,  I don’t know how I did it.  I think this is unfortunately the life story of many people today. Today many people have added even more things and distractions in their lives: cell phones, gaming, texting,  twitter, fast food, Facebook, little sleep, hours of TV.

waters in stream

Racing waters in Stream

I dabble in Facebook (because of my blog) and have a “stupid phone”, so today I have not gotten so caught up in electronic devices. I work on my computer at home. I feel I am fortunate that my stream (of life) is slowing down.  Recently, I was with a student, who is a senior in high school. He told me that he had to make a deliberate effort to look people in the eye to talk to to them because he was so used to looking down at his cell phone.  I was very impressed that he was conscious enough to notice what he had been doing and was trying to change his behavior.

Here is a TED talk praising slowness by Carl Honore:

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.”  – Lily Tomlin

river bend

River slowing down

One of the bad habits I have acquired due to having lived a fast pace so long, is I interrupt people more than I wish to admit. I am trying to bite my tongue more; I still embarrass myself some. I have people I care about in my life who remind me nicely when I’m interrupting them.  My latest long time habit that is getting me into trouble is how I walk. I even need to walk more slowly and deliberately. This year I have already paid the price because I have fallen down.

pond

still water of a pond

For me I meditate more now, and prayer has been helpful as I work on slowing myself down. I also live where the speed limits are low. Now I have more time to smile at cute children and people who are friendly, more time for walks and hanging out. For moments, I even have some serenity.

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness not because they never found it, but because they didn’t STOP to enjoy it.”  – William Feather

 

 

 

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One thought on “Slowing Down

  1. scott lubbock says:

    Terrific, thoughtful essay. I read it slowly and did not interrupt you one. That is hard to do even when reading! I, too, am trying to let situations unfold at their own pace unless there is arterial bleeding, cessation of breath, shock or protruding bone. Sometimes when people are slow to respond and claim they are thinking, I admit I am suspicious.

    Like

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