The Slow Stroll

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I’d rather stroll through life at a slower pace. Wait! I am moving with a slower pace. Way slower. Sometimes, I am bothered by being the last one down the hallway at school. Or the last person out of the car. Or the person on the escalator who doesn’t run up the steps as if they are actually just regular steps. I really don’t understand running up an escalator. I just happily stay planted on my one moving step. Sometimes, I am bothered by the fact that I am somewhat bothered by my lack of speed.

A slower pace has brought me some time to look at the world without the blur of movement. There was a time when I would walk quickly on my side of the sidewalk. I passed by people as if they were invisible. I never noticed who was heading in the other direction. Obviously, they were not going where I was going. Maybe I thought they were just not important to me. Maybe I was self-centered or maybe I was enamored by my destination. Whatever. Who cares?

I care. I care a lot. I must have spent my first 28 years in a whirling dervish. I missed the Texas bluebonnets every spring. Too busy. I missed so many orange and yellow sunsets. Too busy. I went to Hawaii, but didn’t see much more than the beach and shops near the beach…on both sides of the island. Too busy. Way too busy planning ways to be even more busy. And then we had our first child. And then we had our second child.

Funny how children can stop you in your tracks. And maybe they should stop you in your tracks. I am all for careers and education. I spent a total of eight years in college…four of those after I had children. However, I had figured out by that time that family comes first. Children need for their parents to slow down enough to lead them in the right direction, to laugh and play with them, to actually be a parent. As a teacher, I have seen too many children who seem to be raising themselves. A few years ago, I had a five year old at school tell me that he was always late because he had to wake up his mother each morning. Perhaps she was too busy the night before to remember why she needed to wake up the next morning. I wonder what happened to that child as he grew up.

After becoming a parent, I learned to stroll through life. We spent time walking and playing at the park. We spent so many hours at the duck pond. I still like to go to the duck pond. We rode the train through the park and went to the nearby zoo. Learning to stroll at a slower pace was calming. Learning to stroll at a slower pace gave me the chance to see the world in slow motion. What a difference! My destination was not the important part. When our children were born, I found my destination. And now that I absolutely have to stroll at a slower pace, I remember when I chose to stroll at a slower pace. It is just fine to be slow. After all, this is my second time to be strolling slower.

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