Slow Down

Kyla Roma

Kyla Roma

This week I expanded my blog universe with the discovery of a couple of fellow bloggers whose writing style I absolutely love. One of them is Kyla Roma (pictured at right). In her own words, Kyla is “a twenty four year old girl living in the Canadian Prairies under the biggest sky I’ve ever seen. I’m a black tea aficionado, crafty lady, vegetarian, thrift shopping addict, puppy mama and wife. I’m a homebody, a voracious reader and am deeply silly.”

I came across Kyla’s blog on January 5, and was impressed with the one resolution she made for the year 2010.

“My only new years resolution is to slow down. I don’t need to live my life in anticipation of the next thing happening, I need to change pace and live life in celebration of what is happening right now.”

I love that thought. So many times we are completely oblivious to the incredible beauty of the moment, because we are so busy planning what is going to happen next. And do you know what is tragically ironic about that scenario? When we arrive at that next moment which we have so meticulously planned, chances are we will be completely oblivious to the incredible beauty of that moment as well, because now we have moved on to planning the next moment, whose beauty we will miss because … and on and on and on it goes, ad nauseum.

(cc) pfly - Flickr

(cc) pfly – Flickr

Family Camping

I loved going camping as a kid. Every summer Mom and Dad would hitch the Apache Eagle pop-up tent trailer to our 1960-something Volkswagen bus (which my Dad had modified for camping), both of them stuffed to the hilt with camping gear and food, and we would head off to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, or River Bend Campground near Leakey, Texas, and spend a week or two enjoying the incredibly slow pace of camp life.

I think that’s actually one of the things I enjoyed most about those memorable trips — the slow pace, the fact that we were living in the moment, every moment.

  • We went swimming in the Frio River, or floated down it in inner tubes, darting through rapids and then hand-paddling through the quiet spots in the river.
  • We roasted marshmallows over the campfire, and then sat around the same fire singing good old-time gospel songs late into the evening.
  • We seined for minnows by day and gigged frogs and crawdads by night.
  • We went exploring up and down the dirt trails, and jumped off the big rock into the deep part of the river.
  • We walked or rode our bicycles to Happy Hollow Grocery Store to buy worms for fishing, or fresh cheese for eating.

Those were good times.

Wisconsin Jump

 Life is …

I love the line in the song “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”, sung by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, featured in the soundtrack to the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus”:

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

There’s nothing wrong with making plans. In fact, it’s an essential component to effective living. But, as in all things, there needs to be balance. Obsessive planning of every detail of every moment of every day is a complete waste of time … IF you never enjoy any of those moments. We need to learn to “stop and smell the roses”. This moment, right now, is magic. Train yourself to see that, and allow yourself to enjoy it.

So go ahead and make your checklists, schedule your appointments in your Daytimer or Franklin Planner, have your people e-mail the agenda for next week’s meeting to all meeting participants. Go ahead and make your plans. Be as efficient and effective as you possibly can be in carrying out those plans.

But then find time to stop. Find time to relax. Find time to simply BE, and to enjoy this moment for all its worth. In fact, even in those moments that have been planned to the “nth” degree and scheduled months in advance and are driven by an agenda, learn to enjoy even those moments for all their worth.

I’m with Kyla on this one. I hereby resolve to slow down, and to “live life in celebration of what is happening right now.”

Paul O'Rear Signature

Photo Credits:

  1. Kyla Roma, Used by permission.
  2. Smoky Mountain Road, by pfly (Flickr), Creative Commons License.
  3. Wisconsin Jump, by Paul O’Rear.

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