Sunday, July 22, 2012

Slow Down!

I live in the very small village of Lake Ann, Michigan.  There are only two or three streets that make up this place.  And the speed limit on those streets is 25 miles per hour, as it should be.  There is a lot of pedestrian and dog walking traffic on these streets.  There is a small town park, a library, a post office, two churches, a family grocery store and a party store.  People are around.  Kids are around.  Pets are around.

The roads that lead into this lovely village have speed limits of 55 miles per hour.  The number of drivers who continue driving at that speed and ignore the plainly posted lower speed limit for the village just … make me so mad!  This morning’s walk with my dog was especially dangerous.  One couple drove by at high speeds chatting with each other, ignoring the road, and ignoring – well – me!  Another speeder drove by talking on a cell phone and using the other hand to put on her seat belt, leaving the steering wheel unattended.  

I don’t like those people.  When they drive by me, I loudly shout, “Slow down!” and then I mutter other things under my breath.  They hear neither the shout nor the mutter.

People are just in too much of a hurry.  They don’t realize that going slowly can be very satisfying and a lot healthier!

Last month, I had to not use my right wrist for over two weeks to let it heal from overuse.  After two weeks, I gradually added hand activities.  I began to knit, but slowly and not for long.  I began to spin, but slowly and not for long.  I would still intermittently rest and ice my wrist.  After a few more weeks, my wrist started to feel pretty good.  Now, I have no discomfort.  And I can type, knit, and spin without pain.

But I still try to do things slowly, paying more attention to how I’m doing them.  I’m convinced that the slowing down was – and still is – the right thing to do.  It’s so easy to want to Get Done, to want to Hurry Up, to want to Start the Next Thing.  But hurrying can hurt you.

And, hey, I like to write.  I like to spin.  I like to knit.  Why would I want to hurry when doing those things?  I want to slow down and appreciate every moment of this wonderful work.  After all, I quit a fast paced, exhausting academic career in favor of fiber arts.

Speed reading.  Speed dating.  Speed dial.  Not for me.  I have been reading Moby Dick for over a year now.  Sometimes I’ll stop and read a certain sentence several times because the words are so well put together.  I can’t imagine getting as much out of this book if I read it at lightening speed.

So, please, just slow down.  It’ll be good for you.  And good for me.  And good for my dog.


  1. Hi Amy, I was there last weekend...and the weekend before and I 'hear ya'! Perhaps you can come visit with me at the end of Harris Point Lane (Harris Point Trail is the beginning of the trek down our drive). Mary U (who I believe you met at the conference in WI last year?) will be there, and the rest of our little weaving study group. Hope your wrist has healed; my knitting has almost come to a halt.

    1. Hi Nancy! Is Mary joining you this weekend? Say hi. I'm in the frenzied midst of getting ready for a trunk show (Aug 3 and 4) at Wool & Honey in Cedar, so I'd better just keep working. I'm now finishing a yarn that I'm calling "Dangerous Liaisons"!

  2. P o i n t w e l l t a k e n!
    And b*r*e*a*t*h*e! :-) Enjoy the beautiful August days ahead.