Thursday, March 26, 2009

Slowing Down

The other day as I was sitting down to my daily yogurt, fruit and granola breakfast, I made a conscious decision to eat slowly. Surprisingly, I had not thought until that moment that I needed to slow down my breakfast eating, but it was clear when I did so that I have been rushing through breakfast for a long time, probably all my life. So often, as a child growing up, I was nearly late to school or church.

Remember, I retired from real work about four years ago. It is a bit odd that it took this long to figure out that I don't need to rush off to work, and that eating my breakfast slowly is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Thinking more about this discovery, I realized I have continued to rush through my days just as if there were something I needed to accomplish during these long days of retirement. There really isn't, although I do have my projects.

I recently saw a T-shirt that read, "I'm lazy and I used to think that was a bad thing. Now, I no longer think." I'm mulling that one. I'm also lazy, I think, but I do things that convince myself that my laziness is beneficial, as I'm supposedly using my mind. I'm writing and reading, and planning my future writing and reading. I'm training my dogs and planning my future training and showing my dogs. I'm doing jig saw puzzles and fancy that I'm keeping my brain cells functioning - in some way or other. I do word puzzles and again convince myself that I'm doing my brain some good. I walk the dogs to keep me physically healthy. All of these are just excuses for doing very little worthwhile with my time.

I'm now thinking I should regularly volunteer in some way to help others less fortunate than I. Here, all my selfish impulses fight me. I'm thinking of helping with a Habitat for Humanity event at my church, but it involves painting, and I am very sloppy at that. I'm stymied, therefore, because I don't have any old clothes that I wouldn't mind splashing paint all over. There's also an event where the church hosts some homeless families for a week, and there are opportunities there to help out. Many good reasons to do this, but so many choices as to how to get involved. Which job will work well for them and for me?

If I'm serious about this, I'll have to look into volunteering when I get home to Minneapolis. The habit of laziness is a hard one to break. I don't want to feel like I've gone back to work and, of course, I'll have to be careful not to start rushing through breakfast again.

1 comment:

  1. My morning Cryptogram answered all my questions. I solved it and it read:
    "Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living." Gustave Flaubert