If you’re savouring a return to school term, then chances are you’re enjoying your ears being spared that most moronic of holiday ear-worms: “I’m bored”!
“Would you rather be back at school?” Scowl!
Perhaps it’s you instead lamenting the end of that slower, sweeter school holiday pace, or rather lack of speed – actual time to get off the hamster wheel, even if bothered by constant cries of boredom. I am a little jealous of all of you in the midst of school holidays right now.
We always want what we don’t have – yes we savour the space and time in the school holidays (or I would have if I hadn’t worked most of the time and taught yoga – seven classes last week, only because I had the time in the holidays, without kid’s homework and activities) but then we want the space and time (blissfully to ourselves) that school terms bring. Supposedly.
I want what I don’t have – a Little Yang who still says ‘I’m boring’ instead of ‘I’m bored’ – ah but time moves so fast and that horse has bolted.
This post better hurry up.
I must be slow (as in soft in the head – see how both soft and slow can be turned derogatory so easily) because I’ve written on this topic before here and here, and probably bored you then. I’ve explored the benefits of both fast and slow, but I keep coming back to SLOW. And semantics.
Slow sounds so leisurely when it’s unhurried, but just slothful when it’s sluggish. It can be deliberate or dawdling, stupid or thoughtful. It can be lethargic or languid. And so it goes. Slowly.
Yep I’m getting to the point.
See I reckon what most people actually mean when they think about balance is slowing down (well duh).
You’re unlikely to hear this: “I really want more balance in my life, so I better hurry up to meet that next deadline and then I’ll find balance”
People chase the deadline anyway and never find the balance. They fantasise about working less, and then cram in more while at work. The allow themselves some ‘down time’ and then up the ante the rest of the time.
Society’s attitude to time is warped (ha, ha, but seriously). We seem uncomfortable (excruciatingly so) with going slow and so operate on two speeds – fast or stop (sometimes DEAD stop).
Slow is fine and dandy when luxuriating by a pool on holidays (because it is actually stopping), but sucks in a snaking queue at the checkout (because it gets in the way of fast). People think they must go soooo fast nearly all the time in order to earn the right to go slow soooo little of the time.
And if you aren’t going fast, then you mustn’t be successful. If you aren’t busy you must be inefficient, under-achieving, sloooow. BORING.
Busy may be the new black, but balance should be
We talk of spending time (as though it can be bought) and killing time (as though we actually want less of it)!
We talk of losing time and wasting it and of time slipping away and of love and loss and stories and wisdom and war being as old as time itself. We talk of some things as short-lived and others as time-consuming. We lose time down rabbit holes, and find time (hopefully lots of it) for the people and things we love. Measured, time is always the same. Lived, it can feel vastly different. It’s always our choice.
When you choose slow it is never boring (or if it is boring, it feels good anyway). And we all know how it feels to be forced into fast.
Maybe answers lie in Kelly Exeter’s Practical Perfection – finding that zone where passions, priorities and productivity overlap. Maybe it lies in the slow movement, and Carl Honore’s book: ‘In Praise of Slow’ (which I’m slowly reading right now – he wrote it before the advent of social media, little did he know). And I’m working on some answers through reYINvention – softening is a great place to start. I’ll let you know.
Meantime – spend (ok waste) 30 seconds watching a slow-mo of our dog Ruffus shaking out – a wet dog with his beloved ball is something to savour – even the fastest things can be slowed down and enjoyed.
Linking up with Jess for IBOT and the lovely Grace for FYBF. What can you slow down this week? Why not record something in slo-mo (I think most of the newer phones have that function) and take the time to notice the details.