Slow Down! You Move Too Fast!
You got to make the morning last! A great “slow down” lesson can be learned by heeding these words. Simon and Garfunkel said it best in “The 59th Street Bridge Song.”
All of Simon and Garfunkel’s albums are rife with songs geared towards pursuing life slow and easy – taking things step by step. There is not a song they sing that doesn’t offer ways to put our life at ease. And, their Complete Albums Collection is a great buy that can help us – and everyone we know – to add some serenity and solace in our everyday existence.
It’s amazing how much of life passes us by when we are in a hurry to get anywhere – and everywhere. Why is that?
Are we so impatient that we think we are losing out on life if we don’t try to save a few paltry seconds – or miniscule minutes – when performing activities?
Isn’t it actually more probable that by rushing through everything we do that we will actually be missing out on subtle, precious moments that life has to offer?
Which is a the better choice – saving time – or, preventing life from passing us by??? I choose not letting life get lost in the vacuum of time!
The Hurrier You Are – The Behinder You Get
Many people think that the White Rabbit said this in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Actually, I’m not sure who said it first – but, it is – oh, so true!
How many times have we rushed through a task – to finish quickly – and discovered that we did something wrong and had to do it all over again?
The chore ends up taking twice as long – because we didn’t stop to think about what we were doing.
If only we had taken the time to plan out the best and most efficiently detailed way to reach a mistake-free conclusion. Oh well – hindsight is 20/20!
The Inconsistencies Of Youth
Young people always seem to be in a hurry. It is almost an insurmountable task for them to slow down. They want everything NOW – not 5 minutes from now!
I know – I was once one of them. I used to push the speed limits on the highway. If the speed limit was 65 mph, I drove at least 75 mph. And, if anyone was driving slower than me, I became frustrated.
Predictably, those “Sunday drivers” – who were just trippin’ along at what I considered a snail’s pace – were older, more mature drivers – retirees for the most part. I would shake my head and speed past them. But, on down the road – a short distance away – was always another one doing the same thing! How frustrating was that?
What I didn’t realize at the time was that those “Sunday drivers” were the smart ones – and I was the brainless young buck – still wet behind the ears – who was creating anxiety in his own self while the slower folks stayed much more relaxed.
The bottom line? More often than not, I never saved more than a few minutes of time. Was it worth it? I think not! Especially since common sense tells me how easily it is for mistakes to happen when speed is the main criteria.
Better to start a little earlier – take it easy – enjoy the view – and still make my appointments on time – in a more relaxed manner – without the threat of accidents or breakdown. This is a good rule to follow – no matter whether you’re behind the wheel of a car – or, if you are trying to finish a chore.
It takes a few decades of mature self reflection for most of us to finally come to the conclusion that life will be longer and much more enjoyable if we take time to smell the roses – and appreciate the trees in the forest!
Tips For Slowing Down
Don’t keep a zillion-and-one things on your plate.
- Prioritize and center your attention on one or two of the most important things – and data-dump everything else.
- Allow more time to get to any scheduled appointments. The same goes for chores – do them in a more careful, methodical way.
- Think about what you’re doing – while you’re doing it. Don’t think about what happened yesterday – or last week – this can be saved for periods of restful reflection. Keep your mind on the task at hand. Be aware of everything and everyone around you at the moment.
Sign-off from the world!
In this modern age of super-charged technology, it can be difficult to “hang up the phone.” But, it needs to be done periodically. In other words, get off that iPhone or computer. You don’t need to be attached to that umbilical cord 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.
And, for God’s sake, don’t text and drive at the same time! That is out-and-out dangerous!
Re-connect with people!
When you’re with someone, make them the center of attention. Don’t be thinking about tomorrow’s menu or office meeting. Tuning in to them will help you tune in more to yourself.
Smell the roses!
Take the time to really, really look at – and appreciate – a flower – or, a tree – or, the wildlife – that our natural world has in such great abundance. Soon, you will come to recognize the value in your surroundings that you never fathomed before.
Don’t eat so fast.
We tend to stuff our mouths with food – chew it a few times – swallow much of it in chunks that should be more thoroughly broken up – and then immediately jam another couple of spoonfuls in – starting the process over again.
We get to this point because we are always in a hurry with everything else – so, why should eating be any different.
Growing up in a large family can cause fast eating habits – because, we want to get “our share” before it’s taken by one of our siblings.
But, to truly enjoy nourishment, it behooves us to chew more slowly – chomp more times – releasing much more flavor from the meal. Our taste buds thank us. The added benefit is that we will get full much faster – and eat less food – consequently avoiding additional undesirable weight gain.
Stay calm and relaxed behind the wheel.
As I said earlier, young people tend to recklessly speed down the road when they are driving. But, many older, more mature adults are guilty of this practice, too. Save your sanity – help prevent accidents – lower your stress – and, stick to the speed limit – or, even slightly below. You’ll have a much higher chance of reaching your destination – taking only a few, paltry minutes more.
You’ll have enjoyed the ride, you’ll be more relaxed – PLUS you will save on gasoline as well as wear and tear on your vehicle!
Look for creative ways to find pleasure in everything.
There are some undertakings in life that we just hate – I mean HATE – actually H-A-T-E – to do! But, if we use our imagination – our inventiveness – and look for even a teeny bit of enjoyment we can derive from it, wouldn’t it make those responsibilities much easier to endure?
Let’s say we are charged with vacuuming the house. Now, personally, I hate this chore. But, I put on my Bluetooth headphones – with my favorite music – and dance my way through the house leaving the telltale vacuum patterns as evenly as possible throughout.
Maybe that’s a little crazy, but, I no longer despise the job – as long as my trusty headphones are working. I am definitely overly fond of my Mpow Bluetooth headphones. They are a great partner in my war against nasty duties I have to perform – and, they stay easily connected to my laptop no matter where I am in the home.
We’ve all heard, “take it one step at a time.” That’s good advice. So, “take it one task at a time.” Do a good job completing it. Then, move on to the next thing on the list.
When we feel the stress and anxiety building up inside – a natural result of the modern times we live in – we just need to stop and take a really deep breath. Take it in slowly – let it out slowly. Then do it again – and again – and again. Take note to feel that refreshing air entering the lungs – feeling the lungs expand – and, finally, feeling them contract as air is slowly expelled.
There – now, wasn’t that peaceful and soothing? In all honesty, doesn’t that offer a genuinely calm feeling?
Further Reading You Might Like
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – Born in South Korea – emigrating to the U.S.A., Haemin Sunim became one of the top influential Zen Buddhist teachers. He offers modern age advice on how to reflect and slow down.
1,001 Ways to Slow Down – Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer inspires us with quirky and unusual suggestions to balance life, relieve stress, have patience, and enjoy our world.
So, I guess – now – I’ve become that “Sunday driver!” I don’t want my life to move at such a lightning fast pace that it passes me by.
Hopefully, you will give some of my “Tips For Slowing Down” a try. You’d be surprised what you can actually accomplish!
I embrace all comments and emails – firstname.lastname@example.org!