What Slowing Down Will Teach You

June 2, 2014

Dragonfly on Rock
If truth be told, I’m only into “living slower” to a certain degree. I’m all about things like simplifying life, good craftsmanship, beauty, sustainability, eating seasonal and local foods, honoring traditions, and building community. But when it comes to physically moving more slowly…well, that kind of drives me nuts. And I’ve become much more aware of my impatience now that I’m a mama of two little girls who don’t know what “hurry up” means.

I spotted an article in Christianity Today recently titled “What Slowing Down Teaches You That Rushing Never Will,” and it resonated with me. It’s about the lessons a little girl with Down Syndrome is teaching her writer mom, and I saw myself in this paragraph:

I do love the idea of slow food, slow reading, slow and thoughtful living. But not on a Monday morning. Because on Monday, or any school day, I don’t want my children to live slowly. I want them to get up, get dressed, and catch the bus so I don’t need to wait in the jumble of cars outside their school and then stand in the Parent Line of Shame to receive tardy slips.

Around here, we may not be catching buses for school in the morning, but I don’t care to count how many times I’m frustrated because my daughters are moving so slowly. I’m a fast-paced person by nature — I walk fast, I talk fast; I don’t like to spend a lot of time in “transition” moving from point A to point B — but with kids, as any parent knows, it’s a whole different ballgame. I know it’s good for me to use the opportunities that come up with my slow-moving daughters to grow in patience and learn to appreciate a different way of being in the world — one that isn’t solely about deadlines and speed — but I resist a lot. It’s something I need to work on.

At any rate, do read Elisa Fryling Stanford‘s full article; it’s really lovely. Then tell me: Are you the same way? What lessons have you learned from the times you’ve slowed your pace? Do you find it challenging?

Image: Zoe Saint-Paul

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