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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Take a Minute to Slow Down

We have started a new month, a summer month, and it's time to be outside and enjoy the warm weather, friends and family.  However, sometimes we plan too many things in the summer and then it's gone.  And when fall comes, we always say, "where did the summer go?"

I write for a local newspaper called Farm Indiana and have featured several of my articles on the blog.  See below for my most recent article that has been a good reminder for myself and for my neighbors, so they tell me when they remind me to slow down!

Remember, slow down for a bit and stop to be still to enjoy the moment before it's gone.

Take a Minute to Slow Down

It’s finally spring, and our farmers are finally in the fields, people are working in their gardens and kids are playing outside.  Finally!  We say “finally” these days like it’s a good thing, like we are trying to speed up time and our lives.  But is it always a good thing?

As I was rushing home recently, I got stuck behind a truck actually driving the speed limit.  I was mad and wanted to go faster after a long week of travel and meetings.  But then I decided to take a deep breath and enjoy my “leisurely drive” through the country on my way home.  I rolled down the windows, looked to my right and then to my left at the green fields of wheat and freshly plowed fields.  Then I looked up at the clouds that resembled lily pads sprinkled across a sea of blue. 

In that moment, I reminded myself to slow down.  I had to chuckle because I had just told myself the same thing a week before, “slow down and take a minute to embrace and give thanks for the blessings around you—the people, experiences and beauty on your right and to the left and up in the sky.”

That same night, I watched the movie Shawshank Redemption and while I was busy doing something else I heard this from the television, “I can't believe how fast things move on the outside.  The world went and got itself in a big hurry.”  Then I stopped, sat down and stopped doing that thing that seemed to make me feel so busy and rushed.

I think many would agree that we have gotten ourselves in a big hurry and are stuck in the hustle and bustle of each hour of each day.  And it’s day after day, finally here and finally there.

When my mom was a little girl, her family that lived in town would pile in their car and every time they drove through the country, she would turn to her two sisters and say, "I want to own a plowed field someday."  Eventually she did own a plowed field when she married my dad and became a part of a family farm.  When we were younger, we used to always give my dad a hard time for always looking out the window at his fields instead of the road as he drove us from the farm to town.  He was looking at his blessings while we watched him, not really knowing what he was doing.

When he passed, my mom told a group of young farmers that story from her childhood about her owning those plowed fields.  Those fields that were my dad’s blessings, now were my mom’s just like he was a blessing to her.  

So now when I actually think to slow down and look out the window to my right and left, I see those blessings that my farmer and I are surrounded by and then look up and give thanks. 
So what’s to your right and to your left that you need to take a moment to slow down and appreciate?  When you stop for a minute, you can actually slow down and look up above to give thanks too. Finally.

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