07 January 2009

What's the Rush?

[artist: Nick Dewar | photo courtesty: ReadyMade]

As one of my new year's resolutions ambitions, I am making a concerted effort to take things slow, to savor moments and not rush on to the next thing. I realize more each day how contrary this is to what I've learned. Through the process of going to school -- always rushing on to the next year -- then college, graduate school, getting married, getting a job, getting another job, having a baby, it is easy to always be looking to the next move or the next exciting thing rather than enjoying the moment at hand.

All last year, I heard about the Slow Food movement and read about people giving up television or their cars in an effort to live a simpler life. And I agreed wholeheartedly that a simpler life was worthwhile, but I still found myself whining throughout the year about how life was unfair and that having and developing patience was a waste of time. Come to find out, that's not true.

As I flipped my way through Kathleen Norris's Acedia & me last month, I was impressed by how she emphasized embracing the moment. Every moment. Even the painful ones or the boring ones. Each has a purpose and helps carve out who we are and who we will become.

And so I have been making an effort to actually cook meals rather than eat a bowl of cereal for dinner, to wash the pots and pans instead of leaving them in the sink for days, to make the bed in the morning, to drive slower and not yell at other drivers, to make time for people. I consider that these are ways to honor others, myself, and most importantly God.

I'm by no means good at this yet. My first instinct is to freak out about everything, run people over and call them morons, and plop down on the couch to watch TV mindlessly for hours. But that's not really living, or at least not living well. So, I constantly remind myself to slow down and relax and be in the moment.

And, yes, we have plans for the future and hopes and ambitions and a baby to raise for the next 20 years, but here is not such a bad place to be. And the good things is, it's not permanent.


Laura Leigh Dobson said...

i can so relate to this post, lindsay. what an encouragement this is to me. your first paragraph is/was me exactly, except i haven't gone to graduate school, yet.
i am trying to lear these things as well. i have also decided after hearing her name for the past year that i am gong to check out Kathleen Norris. . .off to amazon i go.

Lindsay said...

I think you'll like Norris a lot. I didn't find Acedia & me all that great -- her other books are better.

jenni said...

I agree - Kathleen Norris is great, but Acedia & Me wasn't her best... Great post, Lindsay. I'm trying to enjoy slowness myself. Actually, I might enjoy it too much. :)