My son’s favorite super hero is The Flash. Everything faster is better in his mind. He runs whenever he can. The “Tank” was his nick name as a toddler, not because he was huge but because he would bulldoze over everything at breakneck speeds. His teacher’s say his favorite thing right now is to finish his papers first and then sit there triumphant. Certain food places he doesn’t like to go to because they are popular and wait is too long.
The Flash, is the super hero of not only my son but also, our generation. My favorite super hero isn’t much better than the fastest man. I like superman and Captain America. One can fly around the world so fast he can alter and change time! The other, figures out how to outlive the rest of us and save us in our future world. Yes, I am classic and basic.
Did you know I have a certificate in Time Management? It is sadly, true. I took a course in my coaching studies years ago specific to time management! (Just so everyone knows I aced the course)
I use to believe that the faster I went the more I could pack in. It seems logical right? There are “hacks” galore on the internet when it comes to becoming more efficient and how to use our time wisely. How to brush our teeth and recite our mantras, how to time block our day, how to use our car time for podcasting and tic-toc reels (while driving!!!!).
When we rush through our lives, we fail to notice the simplest joys of just existing. The beauty of living and just being is suddenly lost, and with it we are too. We become hyper aware of everything we are not doing. And we loose the value of connection, significance and pleasure. The inconsequential aspects and mundane tasks of our daily lives vanishing without notice or even a head nod. We become unfulfilled when we value only speed. Tired, exhausted and depressed we can never find enough time to do it all.
Mealtimes become a shoveling in of garbage while scrolling our phones instead of celebrations of nourishment and family. Sleep becomes an annoying necessity that we squeeze in between 4am gym clubs and 11pm parties.
Recently I read a book on compassion. A thought came to me. What if we all could give ourselves the compassion of choosing a downtempo. What if we went back to the old soul thought processes of doing one task at a time, of being present when we drive, to the point of remembering the journey? What if we sat down not around the tv but the dinner table just to talk? What if we brought back afternoon naps or snail mail instead of email and stand up coffee shops? What if we give ourselves permission, not to be efficient and productive and outcome oriented. But instead we choose to indulge in a moment, to wonder, to connect with our people (not on our phones), to explore, to be present. To go slowly and softly is not passive or laziness. It is a life with your eyes wide open and the kindness to appreciate time instead of feeling it wasted away.
When the world demands haste let us be the generation that forces slowness into it. No more panic frenzy. Let us center ourselves before moving forward.
I am embracing simplicity more these days. Maybe the pandemic helped me in this. It purged our lives of those commitments and activities that we thought were a benefit. These things suddenly gone, we became thrilled to stay home and take up long lost hobbies and front porch sitting. We would all wave from our separated houses, once more like the “olden days”.
We we give ourselves permission to go unhurried, we also give ourselves permission to relish in morning rituals, linger with significant others, immerse ourselves in hobbies, work and the gift of our now. Instead of always thinking about what isn’t getting done or what we missed we see what is right in front of us. We flourish every single day. Suddenly we find our burnout is gone, our exhaustion replaced with insight, and our depression transformed into inspiration!
I find it challenging to avoid the temptation to rush. The lifestyle of The Flash is the pace our world has deemed correct. It gives me FOMO when I do not adopt it. Of what I “could” be doing with all that time, if only I just sped up and through. Yet, when I slow down I replace that fear very quickly. You know what it is replaced with? Feelings of contentment.
If I could I would desperately tell my younger self to slow down and to soak it up more. However I am not superman and can not go back in time. So I will tell you. What’s the rush, if you don’t remember it?
Don’t ever drink your coffee standing up
Do one thing deliberately slow every day
Bring back something that feels “vintage” like hand written letters, or afternoon outfit changes.
Instead of texting call someone