Sunday, August 11, 2013

Embracing the SLOW

For some emergencies, there will be times that you are just waiting.  After you've cooked everything in the fridge, hauled water, done other chores and started the wood stove, what do you do while waiting for the power to come back on? If you have digital-age children, it may be even more difficult for them.  Consider 'embracing the slow' as another skill for you and your family members to practice.

So how do we embrace the slow?  If you have children, remember when they were very young and you just watched them? Especially when they were babies, that sense of wonder filled you so full that it was all you needed? There's one.  When was the last time you did that?

Your list for practicing the skill may be longer than you think.  Giving the dog a good ear-rubbing, reading a book, playing a non-electronic game (board or cards) with the whole family are only a few of the activities to cultivate.  Learn that "there's nothing to do" is not a valid statement. Just pondering the beauty of the natural world is something to do.

Some of the slow skill-set can be productive, such as needlework, knife sharpening or woodcarving. The point is that it is done when the task is not desperately needed, like knitting Christmas gifts in July.

How do we practice?  Pick a date and time, turn off all the electronics and do something. If you aren't accustomed to practice or want the family to do it together, you may need to plan ahead!

Given the stimulus most of us receive daily, start small. Read for half an hour or as a family take turns reading aloud. Learn to play cribbage together. Write a letter or card that will go by snail mail. Knit some mittens. Play an instrument. Savor the quiet.  Embrace the slow!

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