Slow, in our culture, is a four-letter word. Slow is lazy. It’s unmotivated. It’s got an attitude problem.
Fast is where it’s at. Fast-track your career. Fast-burn your fat. Get results … fast!
I like fast as much as the next mom. I badger my children to tie their shoelaces faster, eat their dinner faster, make their beds faster. We run for the school bus, race to piano lessons, zip to the grocery store.
And then, at the end of the day, I crawl into bed and wonder why I’m so exhausted.
Carl Honore, author of In Praise of Slowness, encourages all of us to “get in touch with our inner tortoise.”
So with that in mind, I’m recommending you scrap your To-Do list and create a To-Be list. As in, I will be … available to my children. I will be silent when all around me is noise. I will be present when others are living in some sort of idealized future.
And speaking of lists:, here’s a list of time-spending tips to help you savor your holiday season in the slow lane:
- Build a snowman or a snowdog or a snowPicasso. And, please, don’t buy a “build-a-snowman” kit. If you don’t have a carrot, a button and a hat in your home, then simply improvise.
- Bake cookies. Forget slice and bake. Pull out your grandmother’s recipe for shortbread, break out that pound of butter (diet be damned!), gather your kids or grandkids or the neighborhood kids (or just put on some carols and savor some alone time). Then, when the cookies are baked, sit down with a warm one and your tea and watch the snow fall (or the rain fall or the sun shine or …). If you must, schedule it in your “to-be” list.
- Play a game. Get the family together and blow the dust off Monopoly or Sorry or a chess board.
I’ll resist the urge to recommend you sit down and watch It’s A Wonderful Life, or string some popcorn for your tree, or volunteer at your local soup kitchen (though I think those are all wonderful ideas) simply because they’re so cliché and you’ve likely been told to do them a thousand times (yet, do you?). So what I will repeat is this: Dump your to-do list and make this a season of being. Of noticing. Of presence.