How to slow down: taking time to smell the roses

One of my goals from my V2MOM this year was to slow down. Well, what better way to slow down than to visit your 91 year-old grandfather!

A few weeks ago Michael and I slipped away from the city for a weekend visit to see my grandpa, or “Pa” as we call him. Life in Atlanta has been pretty crazy lately, and it turned out to be a wonderful mini-retreat.

When you spend time with older folks, you have to be willing to go through life at their speed. Generally, their speed is quite slow.

Pa is in his nineties, his hearing is starting to go, and he has a bum knee that causes him a lot of pain. He is not the spring chicken that he once was.

Normally when I’m going somewhere, I walk quickly. I take very little pleasure in the journey – I want to hurry up and get there! Spending time with people like my grandfather forces me to slow down to what feels at times to me to be a snail’s pace. It can really be quite difficult for me at times.

It’s amazing the things you notice and engage in, however, when you’re not speeding through life at breakneck speed.

Every day I greeted his neighbors every day and took time to enjoy the beautiful weather and breathtaking clouds. I paid more attention to the emotions that people around me were displaying. I even had the opportunity to spend hours just sitting and talking with Pa, listening to his life stories.

He has had a fascinating life, and I realized as I was sitting there with him that I know very little of it. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn a bit more about my grandfather.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s not the destination but the journey that matters.” I must confess, I have a hard time with this quote sometimes. There seem to be so many wonderful things in this world that are worth rushing off to see.  

That may be true. Some of the most beautiful and touching things in this world, however, are the ones that can only be seen when you’re traveling at a slower pace. When you’re not whizzing through life so fast that it’s all passing in a blur. When you take the time to literally slow down and smell the roses.  

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