Slowing down...

It's saturday morning. I settle in at a coffee shop near by with my giant latte and carrot cake. Today, this carrot cake is breakfast. Not the norm for me but that doesn't matter. Today I will enjoy this carrot cake without guilt, without my shadow scolding me about the evils of sugar and empty calories. I happily wash it down with the latte and pull out my book. I ordered the latte for "here" because I plan to sit and read quietly without rushing off on some errand. There are a million things to do but they will have to wait. Today I am practicing taking the day slowly. This is not a luxury I often afford myself, few of us do, and as I sit and attempt to read I wonder why that is. Why am I always ordering the latte to go? Why am I always on the go? Where am I always rushing off to? Am I really that busy? I realize that I don't really have honest answers to these questions and I am reminded of a poster I saw on pinterest that says "Stop the glorification of busy".

As I sit and enjoy my "breakfast" I notice a little girl and and her dad at a table close by. She has a plate in front of her with a chocolate cupcake ceremoniously propped on it. She has red hair poking out from under a white sun hat and is wearing a white and red striped dress. She also has on pink rubber boots. Clearly her dad let her dress herself and this was today's best outfit. I secretly hope that today's choice of breakfast was also up to her.

I am amazed by her because I haven't seen anyone so present, so in the moment in a long time. She is taking her time with her cupcake, first taking bites of the frosting then slowly working around the edges in small bites. Her face is covered in icing but that doesn't matter; her hands are a sticky mess but that can wait...for now, all that's important is the cupcake.

For a moment I envy her. Have I enjoyed one bite of my carrot cake as much as she is savoring that cupcake? Not likely. I remind myself to take slower bites. Unlike me, she is probably not thinking about anything else but the next delicious bite. She is definitely not about to pull out her camera or her phone to snap a picture like I have. She is not about to tweet, or blog or instagram or status update the heck out of this moment like the rest of us would. (Like I am doing right now)

I have been thinking a lot about this lately; slowing down, quieting the mind, being more present. Slowing down the flow of status updates...both going out and coming in.

We live in a world of keeping up with twitter feeds and facebook updates and feeling the need to contribute so we can be in on the conversation. It's a way to stay relevant and to prove to the world that we are living a full and vibrant life. It's a way to stay current and up to date on the lives of people we know and some we've never even met. It's just sharing really and it's not a bad a thing. It's not necessarily a good thing either. It just is. We have our apps on our smart phones, and they're always on, so the updates are instant. The news is immediate.  And I participate like everyone else but I wonder how much this cuts into my "present" moments and I realize it's quite a lot. More than I would like. The noise can be distracting at times so I am making a conscious effort to stop the inward and outward flow of updates. It's one of my small steps towards really slowing down instead of just saying I'm going to. I've deleted my apps. If I want to know the updates or make any updates I have to sign in, I have to carve out some time...It's a small change but so far it's much healthier for me.

I am slowing down. I want to savour the rare slice of carrot cake to the last bite...so the next time I do...I promise you won't know about it...

{But I am curious...How do you feel about the constant flow of status updates? Does everything seem to be moving at hyper speeds sometimes? Is the world too noisy?}


Daniella C said...

I whole heartedly agree. I'm not "on" as much as I used to be. And I could still be "on" a little less at this point. I realized when I starting thinking in tweets or instagram photos that it was probably too much, lol. And yet, I still like to catch up every once and a while. I suppose it's all about balance... I've cut down on a lot of blogs that I read, leaving only my very favourites, and I think my twitter list and instagram could used the same cuts. I really do enjoy hearing from people that inspire me or updates from good friends, but its all the "filler" I should really clear out. Great post Kinga (you're on my must-read list, lol)

Daniella C said...

This is also a really interesting talk... it's a bit business based, but she has some great points:


Kinga said...

Thanks Daniella...I do agree, a balance is needed for sure. I love sharing and the community that can come with that...for the most part people are very encouraging of each other and that's always nice. I guess I just needed to get to a point where I had more control over when and how I consume these "updates" so that they don't interfere with everything, and that's what's been happening lately. It's so nice to not be "on" all the time. Thanks for your sweet comments...means a lot. (and I will watch that talk...I love her accent!!!)

www.sewupmyalley.com said...

Hi Kinga,
Found your blog through BYW course. Enjoyed this post and contents ring so true with our crazy busy cyber lives. I am from the generation where we know both lives, pre internet and post. Whilst I embrace this generation of information I despair sometimes at the effort to keep up. So many pros and also cons however I am always grateful for the experience and the discoveries along the way.... like your blog. Hope you enjoy the rest of the course and good luck. Cheers Mel