Slow

It’s been beaten into our heads since we were kids. 

Don’t run across the street, walk. 

Slow and steady wins the race. 

Haste makes waste. 

And so on. But they don’t mean it. (I’m well into adulthood and I still don’t know who “they” are, but it sounds good and rebellious to say it.) 

They actually want you to work quicker. Move faster. Get on to the next thing, and the next thing, and the thing after that. And they certainly don’t want you to stop and look around. Because if you were to do that, if you were going to smell the roses, then what else might you notice? That you’re a slave to the machine? 

Harsh, I know. But it’s important that it’s harsh. Because we aren’t waking up from anything unless we get a good knock to the head about it. 

I mean, my whole problem is that I can’t slow down. So, when I turn to a solution that all millennials seek (Google), all I get is this list of things I need to do. “Be mindful.” “Chew thoroughly.” “Stare at the tv without turning it on to make you remember what silence sounds like.” 

Hey bloggers, can I let you in on a little secret? I don’t need anymore stuff to do. I don’t need to grow a herb garden, take up knitting, or enjoy a bubble bath. I need peace in the midst of chaos. I need to slow down when everything else is telling me to speed up. 

So, how do I go slow? How do I stare the clock down and say that I’m going to take my time, no matter what it says? 

I take deep full breaths. Because in any moment, that’s my only goal: to just get to the next one. 

A Teeny, Tiny Yes

Sometimes, it’s hard to make decisions. (Okay, pretty much all of the time.) Even when the hardest decision of your day is choosing what to eat for dinner, it can stump you. Well, I don’t want pizza because I had cheese last week, but if I try to cook something at home, it’ll be nothing short of a Chopped competition to put together all of the ingredients I have left over from last night…

So, what do you do? You ask for advice. Or shake a Magic 8 ball. Or flip a coin. And suddenly, the onus is not on you. You don’t have to worry about making a decision anymore because it is up to another person, toy-making skills in the 80’s, or fate itself. You’re like, I’m so glad I made the “Wheel of Food” where I just spin the wheel and out comes the menu choice! Chinese, again! Yes! I have high blood pressure and pork fried rice!

But the problem is that you quite literally lose control of your life when you leave it up to something or someone else to make your decisions for you. Because that’s all life really is in the end, the times you made a choice. Who you’ll date, where you’ll live, if you’ll go to the gym at all. Even the teeniest, tiniest yes to something can set you on the path to something great. Even the littlest, quietest no to something can carve out your place in the world. And if someone else is telling you what to do, if someone else is making the choices for you, can you even it call it your life?

So, yeah, it’s really hard to make some of the big decisions. You think, I need to talk to my elders. They’ll have more experience with choosing what to eat for dinner, and so, they’re wiser than I. But the fact is that they’re not living your life. Which makes you the only expert in that department, and thus, the only person who should be able to answer that question with any semblance of confidence.

Don’t complicate things. Just breathe, reach down inside, and pull out your decision. Whatever you choose, even if it is just a guess, will be better than any informed decision from anyone else.