slow

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Dear Ruthi,

With Day 5 we are on to ‘Slow.’ Yes. Thank you. 

You know how I love to read what you wrote (in this case highlighting quotes), then go to my own notes and find the exact same thing! 

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I needed this reminder this week. Every week. But particularly this week.

Carl Honoré also suggests, “Try to think of time not as a finite resource that is always draining away, or as a bully to be feared or conquered, but as the benign element we live in.” I confess, time doesn’t feel very benign at the moment. It feels extremely limited to the point of being threatening as I rush to try and get done what needs to be done – maintain the daily wheel, deliver on my commitments, manoeuver through a torn apart house that’s being painted, unpack and repack to get ready to leave. 

Listen to me moan! Honoré suggests that when we moan about how busy we are what we “often mean is, Look at me: I am hugely important, exciting and energetic.” This makes me laugh because what I’m most often saying is “I’m sorry for being a mess, unreliable, behind, unkempt, thoughtless, forgetful and late.” My moans are my excuse. They’re my confession. 

So let’s slow it down.

Inspired by your prompts, I set a timer for an hour, turned off my computer and phone notifications, put on the Spa station, and attempted to do desperately needed housework at a less then dizzying tempo. Rather than focusing on all the tasks that really needed to get done, I stayed mindful of the hour and the act of not rushing through it. It was a fantastic exercise made even more fantastic because I got more done than I had hoped to. My father used to say, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Though it’s not surprising that by limiting my distractions I was more effective. 

Although it was not at all difficult to forgo the technology for that little bit, I was very aware of how often I thought about it. It made me curious as to what I’m looking for when I turn to it. I was surprised to discover that it’s often connection and affection. Hmm. 

I brought slowness to my eating which was when I realized (during my third helping that day) that I’d forgotten the chickpeas in my chickpea salad, so I went to the fridge for some protein.

Today I chose to walk instead of drive. I breathed deeply. Though I walked fast, I tried to slow my thoughts. And I listened. And I heard my body tell me how very tired it was. I also heard the wind bounce an empty pop can along the road as if it were an instrument. I saw the chickadee. I noticed the change in water flow in the drainage ditch. I saw my neighbours. I felt the rain pelt my face.

It was wonderful but it wasn’t new nor foreign.

These little acts of slowing and added awareness helped me recognize that I’m already living intentionally and I should celebrate how I’ve built into my life my continued striving for communion with myself, my environment, and my loved ones. (Do you see what I did there?! Hee hee) 

Just the day before I pulled over en route to snap this post’s pic. A moment of slow in the busyness. A stolen moment of beauty. I so often forget what I’m already doing, seeing only all that is left undone, or done less than perfectly (damn that typo for Day 6).

Perhaps there is satisfaction to be found in the frenzy. 

With love,

Jules

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