Posts Tagged ‘slow life’

What 7-year-olds can teach us about living slowly

If you are a young person–still in college, just out of college, fresh into the workplace, on the job hunt, or whatever–you should read this feature story from the Post. To me, this story is about re-evaluating what is really important in your life, and mostly, it is about slowing down in your life and accepting that what makes you happiest may not be what other people are telling you should make you happy.

Today, in my Practical Environmentalism class, my professor asked us, “What does it mean to you to live your life slowly?”

Hands shot up, as they always do in that class, because it is the best class I have ever taken and everyone that takes it is in love with it, because it always just makes you think so much and learn so much.

For me, living slowly means living in the moment. Not driving myself crazy thinking about what I should have done in the past or what I am going to do in the future. Just being here, now.

Consequently, living slowly is better for your mental stability and your health, and the environment. I could write volumes on this, but I won’t. I may later. Not now.

That being said, I don’t live slowly enough. I don’t really live all that slowly at all. In fact, I feel I have become accustomed to a fast-paced life full of stress and lack of real intimacy, to the point where it is almost the only place I feel comfortable at.

Last night, I was spontaneous and went out for drinks on a Thursday with some girlfriends, something I never do on a Thursday night, or any night lately. It was fun, we played shuffleboard at Atomic and I am awful at shuffleboard so that was funny. Then, it started torrentially downpouring and thundering as we were leaving, and we saw someone’s hubcap scrape off on the sidewalk and another woman bump into two cars while trying to parallel park. It was like a movie, there was lots of laughter.

Then, I got home and found myself in the worst possible mood. I thought of all the work I wasn’t doing while I was out spending time with my friends for once, and I got mad at myself. I got mad at myself for trying to slow down and enjoy my life a little.

Tonight, I spent my Friday eating sushi from Mei Wah then watching Horton Hears a Who with the 7-year-old boy I babysit, Danny. I thought about working on one of the several papers that are due next week while he watched, but instead I shut my laptop and stuck it in my bag. I am really happy I made that decision.

I loved the movie. Steve Carell and Jim Carrey made it even more hilarious, obviously, but everything was just really well done and it was a feel-good movie that also gave you a lot to think about. It made me think about the state of our world right now. The Mayor of Who-ville is the metaphorical Al Gore, or, in reality, he is the entire collective of rational people in the world that can take the fact that it should not be thunder-storming in the middle of November in Washington, DC and come to the conclusion that something bad is going on and we must do something about it. There is more about kind of what I am talking about here.

My favorite part of the night was when I sort of accidentally said out loud, “This movie, it’s like a metaphor for our world today.” Danny just looked over, nodded, and replied, “I know.”