Monday, December 12th, 2016
SLOW AND STEADY ACTUALLY DOES WIN THE RACE!
I am determined to savor this holiday season. I used to savor it—back when time still existed!! And I have vivid sense memories from that era. I remember painting wooden ornaments as if it were a Zen meditation. I wrapped gifts with care and joy. I decorated with serious creative energy and delight. There was no sense of tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. No crushing deadline. (And yes, this was when I worked and had two kids and was a single parent.)
It’s not me. It’s not you. We’ve gone hyper if not hysterical as a culture. And it is contagious. We catch it from one another. “More, better, faster” is a horrible mantra and it hangs over our heads at work and at home.
I come from a family of women (five sisters) that took pride in being efficient and productive. They could clean a kitchen after a large gathering quickly while talking and managing kids. I remember it well. It was not frantic or hurried. It was like a dance.
They laughed about how easily they worked in a small space without bumping into one another.
All this to say, I experimented this past week-end with slowness. I laugh as I share it because it sounds too simple and a little odd. Here’s what I did; I moved more slowly.
That’s it. I walked twice as slow (for those of us who are busters). No matter what I was doing, I slowed it down. Taking laundry out of the dryer. Slow. Going through holiday lights.
Slow. Reading a book. Slower. (I gobble my books)
I did add two other things. I carried my iPad with me and listened to classical and Christmas music almost continuously. If I parked myself for awhile, I lit a candle.
I was stunned at the difference slow made. And I got more done than I had planned.
Right before I headed (slowly) to bed I read an article from The Harvard Medical School on happiness; “Current research is confirming what many of us have heard from our elders and spiritual leaders: satisfaction comes with being engaged, doing good, and focusing on the present.” And literally slowing down is the medium for all of it.