I cut my finger last night while dicing tomatoes for pico de gallo. I am in charge of most of the prep in our home while Steve does most of the actual cooking. That means that I am chopping vegetables daily. I know how to hold my fingers. I know to be careful. So why did I cut myself? I wasn’t living a slow life … I was rushing.
Now here is the thing, there was no need to rush. We weren’t running late and even if we were, we had nothing more important than streaming the newest episode of Fixer Upper to look forward to. I was rushing because I was hungry and fast is my default speed. My friends and I in high school were proud of how quickly we could cut through the crowds of people at the mall. I’ve been called Speedy because I am always walking faster than everyone else. I try to maximize the impact of every movement, often doing 3 things at once.
But what I’ve come to realize is that fast is not better. In fact fast makes us careless as shown by my unfortunate finger. Fast can make us rude or at the very least closed off from other people. Fast makes us miss many of the precious moments in our lives because they are speeding by. So my husband and I make a conscious effort to go slow. We enjoy slow travel where not everything is scheduled and we can enjoy totally unplanned minutes together. We go for walks at night to talk about our days and slow down the pace of having to get things done. But even with our emphasis on slow, I still rush as was shown last night.
So Steve came up with a Slow Down Safe Word. Sometimes I get so spun up that trying to reason with me is a waste of time. (I’m working on it) Steve could say “You’re rushing. Slow Down.” and I would brush him off, lovingly of course. However if Steve looks at me and says “Molasses” I know I am rushing around and getting spun up. Hopefully this will make me laugh and break the stressful pressure that I’m under. I have a feeling for a while Steve will be saying “Molasses” a lot but that’s okay. It will help me to be mindful of how I am acting and hopefully before too long I will be thinking “Molasses” to myself and slowing down before Steve has to do anything.
My “Molasses” life will be more thoughtful, more mindful and less rushed. It will be more enjoyable because I will be present in the current moment instead of 3 steps ahead trying to get everything done. Not to mention my fingers will be glad for it!
Does anyone else ever find themselves in this situation? Do you have any tips to help me slow down?