It was a great evening following a very proud afternoon watching my son, Michael, and cast from Strathcona High School’s Les Mis performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. We had been to dinner at Picolino’s and came home to play Taboo.

After a few rounds of trying to get others to guess a chosen word while avoiding five “taboo” words, battling the salt in the hourglass (more like minute glass), Michael suggested playing without the timer. On my next turn, my fierce intensity to elicit proper responses from the group switched to a laid back, slow pace resulting in smoothly acquired correct answers. At the end of my go, Paula said, “You should do everything like that.”

Really? As in relax and pursue goals as if there is an abundance of time? Radical, dude. To what extent do you live like you are trying to beat the clock? I’m not ready to approach life permanently chillaxed, but I certainly see merit in being considerably more spacious in how I tackle many tasks.

A while ago, I heard about a book, In Praise of Slow, by Carl Honoré, but I didn’t have time to read it. What I gather is the Slow Movement suggests that the only certain thing is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. We get the message that survival depends on speeding up. If we recall that our basic needs remain the same (e.g., connection, appreciation, love), we see they are met through slowness in human relations. The movement asserts in order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection, and togetherness. There we will find real renewal. This seems like something worth incorporating.

Sunday morning I was taking my dog, Maya, for a walk and it was one of my first opportunities to try setting aside the sense of time limit. It’s not like I was particularly in a rush, but I noticed I had some artificial deadline to get home. When we rounded the corner for the traditional way home, Maya pulled toward the woods. I left my agenda on the road and followed onto a trail into the ravine. It was beautiful and we had an enjoyable journey exceeding our standard trek. So I got home 5 or 10 minutes later. Paula was still asleep. Andrew was watching TV. Score one for a fine example of a place to set aside the timer.

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