health and wellbeing

Slow

Observe the pace of a snail and you may not be particularly impressed. Plant a row of seedlings and witness the magnitude of the decimation the following morning. Conclusion: speed is not a prerequisite to achievement. Are hares and tortoises ringing bells here?

To say we have a lot to do is an understatement. We carry large bags filled with tasks and as quickly as we offload them, new bags with bigger bulges are waiting to be collected. The obvious answer to this is to work faster, harder and smarter and then surely we will get ahead of those bags. Not so – the bags keep coming – and this is a good thing really, as this is the essence of life. We are going about our business.

Believe it or not, the snail has his (relative) bags too. His approach is a measured and steady one, and without haste or anxiety he works through his bag and accepts the next one the following day.

Lately, when I see the ‘To Do’ list lengthening on my notebook, I have been looking to the snail and deliberately reducing speed. Rather than tearing through one chore at a hare’s pace with my mind on the next, I’m finding that taking my time and considering the task at hand means I can be more effective and content. Many things that are done at break-neck speed are often not done well and yes, while they can be ticked off, an underlying sense of dissatisfaction lurks.

What I have come to recognise is these bags are actually filled with pieces of life. Whether they be peeling potatoes, making time to catch up with a friend or driving to the office, they are all using allocated life time and this is far too important to be lost in an unconscious blur of scampering rabbit’s feet.

I encourage you to take it slowly this week and make like the snail. As my mother often says, life is a marathon, not a sprint, and as usual she’s right.

Postscript: I must give credit to the in-house wildlife photographer for today’s image, my daughter Adelaide.

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