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“Good ideas come when you slow down.” —Sara Moulton
In a normal year, the summer months gave many of us the opportunity to slow down as the rest of the world seemed to do the same. Our work schedules shifted, Fridays became lesser of a work day and more part of the weekend, and more balance between work and play became easier to recognize.
As we begin to gaze into September with August over half gone, slowing down especially with so many unknowns and uncertainities in our world may just be the pace to step into in order to live well as well as think clearly and creatively.
Cookbook author and chef Sara Moulton shared the quote above when referencing her appreciation for the time that was taken during the recording of Julia Child’s PBS show in 1979 for the entire crew to sit down for lunch on each day of taping, dining together at long, clothed tables set with proper utensils and dinnerware, pouring glasses of wine and enjoying the food that had been part of that particular day’s production. She described it as civilized, and I think more largely this idea of slowing down not only when we dine, but also as we design our days and schedule invites us to honor our need to be present and give “bumpers” to life’s activities.
Among our life’s activities includes time to not be scheduled, to just be however “being” feels best for each one of us.
In a recent segment on NPR, media psychologist Pamela Rutledge shared why more and more of us are watching “comfort” television. Referring to shows from the past that we know the endings to, know the rhythm of the plot, the characters, etc., as a way of counteracting the uncertainty that is roiling in our lives. Choosing to slow down and tend to the stability we have influence over is important in our down time as well as in our everyday time – how we move through our days matters significantly to the quality of our days lived.
Of course, each of us has our own unique circumstances and responsibilities, but when we first acknowledge how we are feeling as we move forward through the next few months, we can give ourselves clarity about what we need to do so well. And slowing down regularly may just be the answer.
So how do we do that? How do we slow down?
Initially choosing to slow down can be difficult as we have built up so much momentum and have become so accustomed to moving at a quick pace. If the past nearly six months has taught me anything is it that patience pays off and taking a breath during the times of transition does not slow down progress. In fact, taking regular breaths, slowing my pace actually makes life richer not only in that moment, but in the moments that follow as relationships are full of more appreciation, clearer decisions are made and unexpected creative ideas spring forth coming from seemingly nowhere. However, such creativity does not come from nowhere. Such ideas have always been there. We just finally gave it the space to present itself and reveal what it has been wanting to show us perhaps for quite some time.
The awesomeness of the life that is possible is waiting, but we may have to slow down to let it come to fruition. Let it. Slow down. Savor a life well lived.