Tag Archives: slow down

Sometimes You Just Have To Stop And Look At The Ducks

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“Mommy! Look at the ducks!”

My 3-year-old was tugging on my hand. We were at Walt Disney World. My mom and dad were racing ahead to catch the boat to Hollywood Studios which was just pulling up to the dock. I was torn. I wanted to keep up with my parents but I wanted to honor my daughter’s thrill at seeing the ducks.

Waving wildly at my daughter and I, my parents won. I tugged gently on my daughter’s hand and said, “Honey, we can look later. The boat is here now. We have to catch up with Noni and Papa.”  I urged her forward.

She stopped. She let go of my hand. She stamped her little foot and said, “But I just wanted to show you the ducks!”

My daughter won. I waved at my parents to go ahead without us. (They begrudgingly waited.) And I stopped to look at the ducks.

It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of Disney World and the sense of urgency to see and do everything. The same is true for the grocery store. Or for writing that next blog post. Or the sense of urgency to get that mountain of laundry folded. (Okay. I admit. I’ve never felt that particular sense of urgency but I’ve heard that some of you out there have.)  When I can’t fall asleep at night I try to figure out how many days you would need to “see and do everything” at Disney World and I fall asleep before I can come up with a worthy number. Disney World is full of things to do and see. It’s the greatest marketing ploy around, creating so much to do you just have to come back. And real life is the same way. There will always be another load of laundry to fold.

And so, when everyone is in a rush to catch the next bus, someone in our family will invariably say, “Hey! Look at the ducks!” Or, while navigating through the Christmas crowds at the mall my husband will grab my hand and say, “Look! I see some ducks.” It’s our cue to slow down. Savor. Enjoy each moment.

It’s a lesson we’ve carried beyond Walt Disney World.

It’s a lesson that bears repeating.

Whether you are at Walt Disney World or the mall or buried in laundry, remember, you can’t possibly see and do everything. Take a moment or two. Slow down. Breath. People watch. Ask your child a silly question while she still wants to talk to you. Hold your child’s hand a little tighter before he’s a teenager and rushing off to the football game without you.

Time will fly by fast enough.

No need to hurry it along.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Uncategorized

See You in a Hundred Years

I’ve recommended this book enough times to a few of you individually that I think it’s time to share the love will all of you. I read a book  this past spring that is still with me. It isn’t the best written. But it is very entertaining. And for me, it was very thought provoking.

Lately I’ve been craving simplicity. I lived in a home built in 1950 and it was very much like my grandmother’s house. Every time I cautiously opened a closet, dodging items like a beatbox dancer, I’d think, “If my grandmother could do it why can’t I?” She raised two children in a home much the same size. She had a beautiful home. Filled with beautiful things. Every nook and cranny wasn’t filled. Her home was never cluttered. But we had stuff. Stuffed everywhere. There is a big difference between beautiful and stuff.

We’ve paired down quite a bit. Comparing my life with my grandmother’s, I look at purchases with renewed interest. I carefully consider it’s usefulness. We still have too much stuff but we’re making progress.

I was hooked on the PBS series Manor House, Frontier House and Texas Ranch House. I was fascinated with the simplicity of it all. No cell phones. No TV blaring 24/7. A cup of tea and a nice letter from a friend. It sounded all so charming.

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I found See You in a Hundred Yearsby Logan Ward at the library one afternoon. I picked it up and devoured it. A family of three, disillusioned by big city life seeks the romantic, idyllic, simpler life of a farmer in the early 1900’s. The book chronicles their adventures and missteps. Soon they are overwhelmed by the complex, strenuous nature of survival. The stress that comes with a constant stream of information and connection is replaced with feelings of isolation and inadequacy. But the things they gain in their relationship and respect for community and history unfold.

This interesting read encouraged us to try a few Unplugged Sundays (no TV, computers, electronic games, phones). I try to cook more whole foods, purchased in season and buy locally. I appreciate modern medicine and the ability to have a cell phone at the ready. I’m inspired to send one “snail mail” card or letter per week. It has encouraged me to stop and watch a spider spin a web with my boys. It has taught me to slow down and appreciate how far we’ve come.

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Filed under Books, How We Roll