So this post is sort of a "cheating" post because it won't include much of my own thoughts.
The background is that with some beginning success in recovery from thyroid and adrenal fatigue problems, I am motivated to gently turn my life from its crazy frenetic pace to something more livable. If you had asked me six months ago if it would be possible for me to simplify my life at all, I probably would have laughed at you and then said something very rude, implying that my life is much busier and more important than the average person's.
Over the past few months of work on my health and happiness, I have been given the gift to see that at the root of so much of my crazy breakneck ways is simply conceit -- the belief that I am somehow set apart from normal humans, that I must always do more, achieve more, be more. It's completely ridiculous, and completely false. Realizing that snobbishness, not bad luck, is at the root of my poor health choices is very humbling, but also very true. Anyone who has known me for very long can tell you that I am this way -- that I take things on, more than I should, not for pure reasons but because I think I can do it better than anyone else. It's conceit, it's snobbishness, and it made me physically ill.
So I'm holding the idea of a slower life in my hands, turning it over and over like a smooth stone, feeling it warm up from its contact with my palms. I am growing to like it. Every once in a while that crazy voice comes back -- she sounds a bit like the Wicked Witch of the West -- and tells me that unless I do twice as much as I am now, I will sink into the mire of obscurity and sadness and drudgery; that my only hope is to do more and be more and always more than I am right now. She says that I am never enough.
If there is nothing else to inspire me to change (and certainly there is), then at least my children inspire me. I want to be present to them and to telegraph to them that they matter, not just in the big things but in the small things. I want them to have my attention more often than they hear, "In a minute, honey." Because there will always be moments when I am busy, but I have more opportunities to tune into them and into the slow life in general than I previously thought.
So I am scanning through a book about unhooking, slowing down, and simplifying, and I have come across two really fantastic quotes that I want to share. These are from Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.Ed. and Lisa M. Ross.
"A more rhythmic daily life establishes beachheads, small islands of calm and predictability in the flow of time."
I love this image! "Beachheads" makes me think of a parched, exhausted shipwreck victim, finally washing up on shore, panting, grateful, totally spent with grief and joy. And the ground is firm underneath. That is what I want to be, and what I want my home to be. The island, always there just when you can't go any further out in the big bad world.
And the second:
"We're confronted with the often simple requests of these small beings (whom we love immeasurably), and yet their pleas seem to be coming from a galaxy far away, from the planet "slow." The two- or three-year-old asking for the same story to be read again and again becomes an eight-year-old who wants to tell you the plot of a movie in such remarkable detail that the retelling will surely take longer than the movie itself. You've figured out a complicated car-pool schedule that requires split-second timing, but saves you a roundtrip or two per week. The whole enterprise grinds to a halt each morning around two laces that will not be tied, or one head of hair that cannot be brushed, or one backpack that is always -- but always -- missing something."
Wow, that's exactly it. Those two laces.