Monday, March 05, 2012

Intentional Slowness

I've crowed long and hard on here about how quickly time is going. Hours spin into days and then weeks and before you know it you're in a new month. Sigh.

But it wasn't always this way.

Um, Susie, you might want to rethink that, you say. Time has always been moving at the same speed...

Well, yes, but I've concluded that the amount of time you've already lived determines the speed, based on how much "life" has been in each day.

Wha'cha mean? you ask.

Well, when you're young -- say a mere 3 or 4 years old -- time is very slow because your experiences are very limited at that point. You don't have a lot in your mind yet -- active imagination or not.  Add in a bunch of years worth of memories and thoughts and experiences, and it begins to speed up a bit...i.e. through a crowded cranium.

Okay. Okay. So it's not necessarily scientific or completely logical, but it's there, even if I can't put my thoughts in exact words.

So I'm sitting in my living room this morning -- long before the world of "Feete" has begun to pitter-pat -- and I begin to think about it. How much unnecessary stuff crowds our lives? What are we doing that I didn't do when I was young?

The first thought that came to mind was technology.

While I grew up with a computer -- a Commodore 64 to start with -- from about 14 years old onward, we didn't have the Internet yet. We certainly didn't have the World Wide Web or streaming television or YouTube or Facebook or...or...or... Heck, we didn't even have e-mail yet.  I know my dad got a CompuServe account (it was a number back then), and he could post on "bulletin boards." Since I didn't do any of that, I have no idea what it was like.

So there was no pull from that arena when we were younger.

We played board games and yard games and went bicycling and listened to music and read books and wrote books and drew and colored and gardened and...and...and...

It was fun, and life felt...well, it felt slower.

So now I'm left wondering. Can we do the same for our children? Can we intentionally slow down life for them?

We've purposely kept them from doing too many extra-curricular activities to help preserve our family time during this short period of life called "childhood." They learn at home so there's no real homework...apart from, well, their actual schoolwork. But still the days fly by...so much so that we hit the ground running in the morning and don't stop until we 'round the bend at bedtime.

Sigh.

I know a few changes are on the horizon. It's just a matter of having the strength to follow through... I think it will prove to be the best of intentions.

1 comment:

Aduladi' said...

We made the same choices. Little to no extra curricular activities (they can do one sport a year, etc.), or if they do an extra it is abbreviated and does not take up too much time.

My kids at this point are also only online very sporadically. They have computer class at school and are allowed only 30 minutes a day of technology at home. The best part is that they never ask now! They would rather ride bikes or just play. There is no tele during the week whatsoever for the school age kids, and it has made such a difference.

Hang in there and stand strong with your changes. It will reap so many rewards!