Posted by: ritagone | January 8, 2014

Slow Down!

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I have made a short New Year’s Resolution:  slow down a bit.

I sometimes do things too fast.  Oh, I’m slowing down in some significant ways, for sure.  I can’t outrun you, so don’t even ask me to try.  And it takes me a while longer than it used to to think of things: names, places, facts that used to be at the surface of my brain have now burrowed deeper into the darkened recesses so that it takes more time and effort to bring them up for air and recognition.

But where I’ve always been notoriously speedy is where I’d really like to slow down in 2014: eating and looking around.  Eating is something that I do fast.  I still blame it on college expediency, some 50 years later, whether that’s logical or not.  Get it shoveled in, move on to the next activity: that’s always been my mantra.  Don’t waste time sitting leisurely and savoring food or beverage.  It’s meant to be ingested quickly so that you can do the important things on your checklist.  Eating is just the fuel that allows real work to happen.

Well, I’d like to slow down and chew, savor, enjoy my food this year.  I’d like to take the advice of the diet gurus who tell you (and me) that doing these things allows you to be a better person regarding your food intake, your food attitude, and your ability to lose and keep weight off. (And I’d like to lose another 20 pounds to go with the 35 that I lost last year.) So I’m going to make a conscious effort to be better at this.  If you’re eating with me in the near future, you have my permission to remind me of the fact that I have today resolved to improve.  Grab my fork.  Slap my hand.  Say something that will bring me to my senses.  I’m serious about it, and I want to be able to say, by the end of this year, that there has been a marked improvement.

The other area I’d like to slow down in is that of looking around.  By that, I mean the cliché of stopping to smell the roses, noticing what’s in the environment in front of my eyes and ears and nose, instead of just plowing from Point A to Point B like a woman on a mission.  Because I usually am a woman on a mission, and when I am, I’m so focused on getting that mission accomplished, I miss so much of what’s beautiful and interesting in my yard or neighborhood or community.  And I don’t want to do that anymore.

I’m reading a wonderfully fascinating book right now called “On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes,” where the author, Alexandra Horowitz, goes for walks with various people (and pets) and notices that – depending on their interests or job or height – they see the world around them differently than she does.  And she remarks often (I’m about 25% through the book) that she is more and more aware that she is a fast walker, an unobservant walker, and, living in New York City as she does, she therefore is missing much of what the city has to offer in detail and perspective.

I don’t want to live my life missing what’s around me because I’m too busy or too fast to notice.  So I want to slow down when I’m walking, slow down to smell the roses or see the shapes of buildings or the faces of people around me.  If I’m out and about, I want to be present and available to what is happening, not rushing to get on to the next scene.

Not big things, by any means, but challenging enough to give me pause.  Can I do it?  I hope so.

What are your resolutions for the new year?  Let’s work on them together.

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Responses

  1. Thank you Rita for this post. I think EVERYONE needs a reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment they are in. One thing we try and we’re not very good at but when we think about it and make an intentional effort I was told to chew your food 20 times before you swallow.

  2. ew, a very nice New Years Resolution and blog indeed!!

    I have a short one. One is to dance to a song every day. I’ve done it and it changes my mindset completely. And I find that I grab whoever’s around me and make them dance WITH me and it’s a blast.

    The other is to make shorter to do lists so that I don’t sit paralyzed by my big long to do lists ending up doing NOTHING. Changing my mindset to be more like His would be nice…

    Lastly, my New Years Resolution is to be braver, whatever that means…

    Blessings, Rita. Thanks for sharing. 😊 xoxox

    ~m.

    Sent from Windows Mail

  3. Slowing down is so critical! I agree. Have you read, “In Praise of Slowness?” Same idea. Your comments bring Ps. 90:12 to mind.


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