blue sky

Home     Display     HandyHints

Slow Down - you move too fast

Vacations were always intended as a refreshing break from the usual grind. How have your most recent ones panned out - relaxing, or just more of the same? Personally, we used to find the build-up exhausting as we tried to finish everything that needed attention before we left and were generally dissatisfied because nothing was done properly and would have to be re-done when we came home. The journey itself should have been a pleasant drive through countryside and towns we rarely saw; it actually turned into a road-race: hopping from one service station to the next, frustrated by having to overtake the slow drivers who, for some reason, weren't in as much of a hurry to get where they were going. We, of course, were understandably motivated because there was so much planned and we only had a fortnight to jam it all in! We did start feeling the benefit of the holiday towards the end and frequently commented that two weeks wasn't long enough. Later on we tried three weeks, then four and it was still insufficient. We discovered why on a very short vacation, seven days snatched out of a heavier-than-normal schedule. One week wasn't really long enough to do lots of sight-seeing, and we were pretty tired, so we decided to just veg out, taking the odd walk along the beach or merely sitting in the sun. It was magic, arguably the most enjoyable, relaxing holiday we'd had in years, and it set the scene for many more to come. That's what vacations are supposed to be for - taking it slow, taking it easy, leaving the rat-race behind. Try it sometime.

Remember when a new relationship was looming and you were planning your first move and trying to make a good impression? How did it go from there - a whirlwind romance that culminated in a lifelong partnership of joy, or a five-minute disaster? These days, old-fashioned courtship is something out of a Bronte novel - no-one does it like that anymore. I would be surprised, however, if relationships that have endured since the early nineteen hundreds weren't born, initially anyway, of a slow and tentative approach. Never mind what mother and father felt it their duty to advise, courtship was a known and practised art, a step-by-step progression observing all of the proprieties and courtesies necessary to woo the intended. It was rarely a public exhibition, and neither party took the other for granted. Often the simple friendship was kept personal and secretive because hopeful lovers weren't prepared to declare their undying fondness for each other until both were sure that it was what they wanted and that it could last. There was another reason too, a very special one: it was of a fairy-tale nature, the stuff romantic novels were born of - excitement, anticipation, butterflies in the stomach, that heady buzz whenever they were close, or maybe just thinking about each other. Why would anyone in their right mind want to rush such a euphoric experience? Listen and learn, lovers young and old: any relationship that is destined to be meaningful will be worth waiting for - just take it slowly, enjoy each and every precious moment, and let the magic work for you. Your lifetime together will never be as wonderful as those first few weeks of hopes and dreams, so make them last.

Promises and commitments can make or break any relationship, romantic or not. We have a tendency to be influenced by the emotion of the moment and, depending on our mood, can place ourselves in awkward situations simply by jumping in feet first without thinking. An agreement to take on a new responsibility may not seem to be a problem at the time it is made, but down the track it could prove almost impossible to live up to. Perhaps we said what we did because a refusal might have hurt a person's feelings, or we were initially confident of being able to stick to the bargain; but the end result is what matters. Failing to honour a commitment or keep a promise dumps us in the unreliable basket - a person not to be trusted. Taking the trouble to think before opening our mouth can prevent a few incautious words coming back to bite. The same applies to letters, emails, texts and tweets. Once sent, they have become history, hopefully one to be proud of and not a continuing source of regret.

Knee-jerk reactions of any kind frequently turn out badly. It is well worth taking a step back before responding to a situation, especially one which confronts us suddenly and without warning. Most things in life don't have to be handled like an emergency stop in a car - there is usually time to consider options and figure out the best way to deal with them to our advantage. I know it sounds rather clinical and tedious, and the temporary reluctance to reply may give someone the impression that we have lapsed into coma, but what happens next is a label we may have to wear for the rest of our life, so it had best be the right one.

It isn't easy to slow down when the world around is spinning faster than ever. It seems to be made worse by the speed with which people talk, in particular the younger generation. There is a lot to fit in, so much to say; but please don't think about adding: "There's so little time." That's one thing we have more than enough of. So, drop down a gear or two; appreciate life as it comes and don't wish it away; and please, please let the children play - they are only young once. And if you discover the Universe is definitely due to end tomorrow, resist the temptation to gabble as much as possible in your remaining hours: instead, pause for thought and utter maybe just a few heart-felt words of thanks for the memories.

Next issue:   Gluten Free Food - it doesn't have to taste awful

Previous page

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print complete article.

  Back to beginning of article

Money Fruit Food on plate Spyglass ereader Popcorn

Where every effort has been made to be accurate and fair-minded, comments and opinions expressed on this website are based on personal experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of the wider community or those groups and institutions mentioned. A Season of Happiness and its staff accept no responsibility for any outcome based on suggestions offered. What works for us may not work for you. Please bear this in mind.

copyright © 2011-2015  All Rights Reserved