I was waiting for it. My ears alert! Anticipation was high and I knew it was coming soon. And so it did. I heard my first, “Can you believe it’s already the middle of January?” The delivery of said exaggeration-it is NOT the middle of the month quite yet—was an off-hand remark with no need for me to respond. As are most rhetorical questions, there appeared to be great confidence that we were all in agreement. I said nothing and simply ticked one thing off my list. I had been waiting for it.
It’s true I didn’t formalize any New Year’s resolutions, but I did have a few items that made it to the top of my “things to consider” agenda. I did resolve to stop talking so much about how quickly time is moving. Time isn’t moving any faster. I am. We are. And how we spend our allotted 24 hours is really mostly choice.
I had plenty of time to consider my relationship with “time” while with the girls this week. We decided that we’d take a walk “up the hill” to Starbucks and get some oatmeal. And so we set out. Almost.
Before we even made it out to the sidewalk, Sophia spied a slug on the bricks. This required intense examination and many questions. I realized I don’t know a lot about slugs, but she is a very modern child and is already quite comfortable with letting me off the hook and saying, “Can we Google it?”
She touched and prodded for a bit and then picked it up. Karina was just as fascinated but her sister didn’t think she should touch it. The concern was for the slug, not Karina.
When I suggested we wash our hands and proceed on our walk to breakfast, the girls were concerned that something would happen to the slug while we were away. They came up with an emergency prevention plan and carried the slug over to a plant-covered area close to their garage. It took several “put him down and pick him up again” moments until just the right patch of green seemed to offer protection. Finally, Sophia was satisfied, and as we walked away she offered that now he would be safe from reptiles! Sophia thinks ahead!
So we walked on. Slowly. Pinecones need to be collected and carried while entertaining conversations about the names of different flowers and plants. We discuss the birds we see and they notice every jet in the sky and they hear every emergency vehicle siren, no matter how distant. Karina greets every person on the street with a wave and a smile and Sophia is more interested in the dogs than the people. Neither of them is the least concerned with how long it takes to get some breakfast.
The final long block is then measured by two girls who decide they want to walk backwards. They turn it into a fun game. A fun, slow game.
If we would like “time” to slow down, maybe we need to add in a little more observation and delight, and make our own small adjustments. Shift the expectations just a bit. Notice the slugs and be delighted by them!
Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy…Paul Simon