I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
As I began to think about my topic for this week, the words patience and slow down kept rolling through my mind. Thinking about the idea of patience and waiting for something, I thought about my preschool students and the excitement they have for the arrival of Christmas. Sometime shortly after Halloween, someone will bust in my classroom and say “Ms. Karla, Ms. Karla, I saw Santa Claus at the mall!” Now it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and Santa has already made his way to the mall. From that time until the last day of school before our Christmas break, everyone is making lists, talking about what they want for Christmas, making countdown calendars, Advent chains and impatiently waiting for the big day. I remember one student telling me a few years ago..”Santa needs to hurry up”. When that particular student returned to preschool in January, I asked him, “Hey, what did Santa bring you?” The answer “well ummmm he brought, uh, he brought…I don’t remember.” How many times do we think we want something, we hurry up and get it and then once it’s here, we’ve lost interest? We realize it’s just not what we thought we wanted.
On a recent trip into town to run errands and pick up a few items at the local grocery store, I decided to pay close attention to the folks around me. I am a coupon shopper and it takes a little extra time as I look for the deals and separate my coupons. Well, on this particular Saturday the local market was a little busy (I live in a college town so there are lots of extra people in the store on a Saturday afternoon) so I made every effort to stay to the side of each isle not getting in anyone’s way. Unfortunately, that did not seem to work. Everywhere I turned there was someone huffing and puffing, pushing and shoving and fighting for position…hurriedly zipping through the store. As I approached the checkout lines it reminded me of the final lap of the last NASCAR race of the season that would determine who won the championship for the year. I wanted to stand up on the end of my cart and shout to the top of my lungs SLOW DOWN! But I didn’t, I just stayed to myself, checked out as quickly as I could trying not to pay attention to the lady behind me who apparently does not use or understand the benefit of coupons.
As I prepared to leave the parking lot I was nearly run over twice by two very impatient drivers, who ended up at the same stop light I did at the very same time I did. (Yes, I chuckled at the fact that all that rushing around, I still got there at the same time they did.) Then, there was the ride home. Zipping through town headed back to the rural community that I call home was also an adventure. At one particular spot in the road, traffic is to merge into one lane. That my friends is not a fun place to be. It seemed that everyone behind me decided to drag race to the front of the line, leaving me in the dust…which was fine with me because I’d rather be safely in the “dust” than upside down in a ditch.
Why is it that we are in such a hurry all the time? We have this one life to live and it seems that we all rush to get through it. When we are young, we cannot wait until we turn 16 so we can drive. Once we get there, we cannot wait until we are 18, out of high school and are a legal adult so we can leave home and be our own boss. Then there’s age 21 and we all know about turning 21. And before we know it we are married, have children and we do not even remember how we got there. Our children begin to go through certain stages and whether we want to admit it or not, sometimes we wish they would grow up or at least get out of whatever stage they are in. As a teacher I will often hear parents say “I will be glad when he/she gets out of the terrible two’s” or “ I cannot wait until they are in kindergarten” But why?
As an older parent with older children, I sit back some days and ache for the time I had with my babies. I watch my son, who is just a bit taller than me now at 13 and realize that in a few short years, he too, like his sister, will go off to school and my husband and I will be left alone. I find that as much as I enjoy conversations with my grown daughter about her life, school and her plans for her life I miss that little girl who used to sit with me on the back porch and blow bubbles, chase butterflies and play in the sandbox.
Do you rush through your life? Do you speed through your day just so you can get home and speed through dinner, dishes and bedtime? Slow down. Take a few deep breaths, and embrace the moment. We are not guaranteed anything but the moment we are in right this very minute. Embrace, savor and appreciate it. Say what needs to be said to those who need to hear it. Take your time. Fix a meal and eat it at the dinner table instead of buzzing through a drive through and eating in the car.
Rodney Atkins, an up and coming country music singer has a new song on the radio that has kind of become my theme song. “Take a Back Road” is a song about the busy life and how he longs to take a back road to get out of the hectic day to day traffic. My favorite line in the song says “It makes me wanna take a back road, put a little gravel in my travel, unwind unravel all night long…” Whether you are a country music fan or not, might I suggest that you “You Tube” it and have a listen? While you may not be able to take a back road or take a trip you can certainly try to find time to unwind and unravel. Slow down and embrace the moment you have right now. For me, I am going to grab a cup of coffee and the husband and spend some quiet time out on the deck and watch the leaves fall and the squirrels bounce through the trees….and maybe take a back road if only in my mind.