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!
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.
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
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.
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