Slowing Down

slowing down

My almost 98-year-old Grandma has not been feeling well lately.  She has been staying home and not leaving her home very often.  We usually see her at least once a week.  She only lives one town over, but with our hectic schedules it is tough to get over there even though it is so close.  She usually comes to “family dinner” on Friday nights, but hasn’t been at the last few.  I decided today that I would bring some bagels to her for lunch today and stop in for a few hours to visit.

I got to her house and as I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the peacefulness that was there.  It is just her and her caretaker who live in this big house.  There was beautiful opera style music playing as she sat in her favorite den chair.  I asked her how she felt and she replied, “miserable”.  I told her well she needed to get up and join me in the kitchen because I brought lunch!  I knew that she wanted to stay in that chair and just feel, “blah”, but I wanted to get her up and moving and into another location.  We walked into the kitchen and I toasted her a bagel, got our fruit and we each had a cup of tea.

Her kitchen looks out onto a beautiful, lush green yard.  I was facing the window just watching the birds at her bird feeders, and the cicadas flying by.  We just sat and chatted.  She talked about my mom and missing her.  She talked about Tim and how well she thought he was doing, (all things considered).  She knew so much about the cicadas, it actually amazed me.  I know she cannot hear their whistle, which was echoing through the yard, but I tried to describe it and she said that she remembered it from the last time they were here.

As I sat there, in the peaceful quiet of her home, I realized how rushed our lives really are and that perhaps the secret of a happy, fulfilled life, is when we don’t feel like we need to be everywhere doing everything!!  When I first got there, I was ticking off in my head all of the things that I needed to get done during the day to be ready for the week.  By the time I left, I realized that I could slow down.  I actually walked around outside snapping photos of the cicadas that were all over her house and yard.  I was so caught up in trying to do everything that I was missing out on some of the amazing ones.  Theses cicadas, which have begun to fascinate me, will not be back for 17 years!  I will be 60 when that happens!!  So, I stopped and just reveled in the moment. By the time I left, Gram wasn’t feeling as miserable and I had actually slowed down.

I just wrote about saying “no” more often.  This is all a part of that I guess.  I need to slow down!

Instead of checking my email, tweets, Facebook and messages, twenty times a day, or getting frustrated with things not moving quickly enough for me, I actually slowed down and enjoyed the day.  Because of that, I think the rest of my day really wound up being calmer and more mellow.  I got everything done that I needed to, but I did with a much more relaxed attitude.

I need to make a point of spending more time with my loved ones, especially Gram, who really has so many stories to share.  Family dinners are great, but one to one time with her is so much more rewarding and I can find happiness in all that surrounds me and in what I already have.

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