{Old School Wisdom} Slow Down, Missy

Mom used to tell say these words to me when I was kid, and honestly it drove me a little crazy.

First off, I knew that her advice wouldn’t apply to fire fighters–a fact that always stood out to me but I never pointed out to my mother. This fact bothered me. As an adage, it seemed like a flaw. (We’re Southerners, it was the ’70s, and to have gotten sassy with her over it would have been disrespectful.)

Second, I have always had a need for speed when it comes to getting someplace. Not that I have a lead foot on the highway, just that I like to get going.

This may be one reason why at 41 I have reflux. Too much speed is not so good for the body or the mind. It might also something to do with my natural-born overexcitabilities. (If you know me, then you know I fidget, talk too much and too fast, and gesture a lot.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about slowing down and what that could mean in all areas of my life. Take for instance email. I check it compulsively. This is one major reason why I don’t have an iPhone. I would never look up. And when I find something waiting for me, I feel that I must respond right now.

Nine times out of ten it can wait. In fact, it probably should wait. (I only just figured this out.)

I’ve been thinking too about slowing down in relation to homeschooling. Not stopping out, but rather stepping out of the “I must teach all the things!”* mode. That’s why this post by Lisa Rivero on Psychology Today’s site resonated. Having already intentionally incorporated large amounts of “free space”–away from technology–into our weekly block schedule, Rivero’s words felt like validation from the universe:

Let’s not kid ourselves. Sticking firm to regular blocks of unproductive time is not easy in today’s rush to do more rather than less. You will disappoint people, and it takes more than a little courage. The potential pay-off, however, is nothing less than life-changing.

I’ll let you know how this experiment works out. But I’ll try not to rush the follow-up.

*This problem co-exists with “must write all the posts” and “must read all the articles.” Alas, it does NOT co-exist with either “must fold all the dishes clothes” or “must clean all the rooms.” If it did, then be advised that I would be awesome.

Note that Friday (yes, tomorrow!) is the deadline for readers to register for Fed Up With Frenzy. It’s the perfect back-to-school book for parents overwhelmed at the prospect off an over-booked autumn. Run, don’t walk to register.


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