Making Time to Slow Down

My mother, Saint Helen of Immaculata, had a saying that I heard ad infinitum growing up—that saying was, “haste makes waste.” I’m not sure where she picked that one up and I’m guessing it wasn’t one I imagined I’d come back to—but I did, especially after acquiring some life experience.

Quality takes time. There are other idioms like, “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” I remember that one being part of St. Helen’s repertoire, also.

I’m finding that the things that have acquired staying power in my own life are things that haven’t happened overnight. Writing, health awareness, cultivating skills that never go out of season, these things take time.

I’ve written about Malcolm Gladwell and his 10,000 hour rule. It’s about putting the time in and recognizing there’s a commitment to the long haul.

Unfortunately, much of our culture runs contrary to that. We want fast. We demand convenience. We’re impatient when we don’t win $1,000,000.00 in the lottery.

Success sometimes runs contrary to convenience.

Success sometimes runs contrary to convenience.

Recently, my wife and I made a change in how we’ve been eating. Gone are the packages of processed garbage that once choked our pantry. Instead, we’re eating “clean,” making meals comprised of locally-grown food (when available). Meals and eating not centered on ease and convenience takes time. That means chopping vegetables, cutting up fruit to have it available in the refrigerator, and planning meals that include healthy proteins that nourish our bodies and contribute to being healthy. Healthy eating requires time, not drive-thru windows or microwaves. The investment of this time has even offered up short-term results, but we know there are benefits coming in the future, too.

When I look around me and consider that easy trumps commitment more often not, is it any wonder we are up against some of our current challenges and problems?

4 thoughts on “Making Time to Slow Down

  1. It’s all worth it.

    You’ve begun a process that, should you go with it, will result in your growing more and more of your own food, buying very locally from people you know and trust what you can’t grow, learning to pickle, can, preserve and ferment (and with Mary’s culinary chops, that should be most interesting), and becoming healthier every day in deeper ways than you ever really understand.

    It’s an eye-opening day when you realize that your parents in the heart of the Great Depression ate so much better food than you ever ate in all our abundance.

  2. I have been sick the last several days and have had to lay low and boy is that ever hard. I keep thinking I can mop the floor in the kitchen, reorganize some of my winter clothes and a whole lot of other things that are whizzing thru my mind….now I have to think about why?

  3. I enjoyed this thoughtful post. Yes, things often take longer than we realize. When they are just “ideas” they seem simple and easy enough to implement in a few minutes, like a keystroke or a “like’ on Facebook. But once we’re actually doing the work, thinking things through…well, quick fixes avail us nothing. I often look at a can of peas in the supermarket and think about my own annual pea harvest. I can’t buy peas in the can or frozen anymore because how they are produced in such great quantity for supermarket consumption in comparison to the organic process boggles my mind. Surely, some petroleum must be applied to either the soil, the migrant workers, or the machines to make such a bloated statement about the poverty of our abundance.

    Every time I hear the lyrics of “Age of Aquarius” (by the 5th DIMENSION!) I laugh to myself, thinking about our age of progress.

    “Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions, and the mind’s true liberation.”

    Ha ha ha…Aquarius indeed. Hey, weren’t you born under the moon in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars? 🙂

  4. @JAB Yes, the JBE was born under the sign of Aquarius, “under the moon in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars.”

    There are certainly times when getting something out there, quickly, is the order of the day. I think, however, simply doing and being busy has become enshrined, given a status it doesn’t deserve.

    @Sally Hope you are feeling better. Most of what we think is urgent can wait ’til tomorrow, or even the day after.

    @LP Our recent push towards paleo food choices has been an eye-opener. Not only is it a “cleaner” way of eating, it also offers a window into why Mary and I made some of the wrong food choices, in the past. Local foods, whether grown here on the compound, or purchased from farmers within 30 miles has been a value we’ve embraced, we were consuming way too much processed junk. Now that we’ve stepped away from it, there’s no reason to return.

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