Slow down and sip, don't gulp, the holiday cheer

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Just drive around town. No, wait, don’t. It’s really dangerous. Judging by the looks on their faces, the people behind the wheel are crazed. Mega coffee cups in one hand, cell phones in the other, they appear to be driving with their knees. And fast. They spin in and out of parking spaces like demons.

I say, let’s just stop. Consider that these are actually good times, days when we may savor the memory of Thanksgiving and anticipate the joys of the next holidays. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are history. New Year’s is around the bend. This is the happy stuff in our year, but we can’t appreciate it if we go supersonic.

I’m making myself slow down, take a timeout every day to have a cup of tea and read the newspaper, and then tackle my errands and work. Why not stop for a snack or a browse in the library? Carve out a niche of peace and quiet for yourself as you move through these days. Even if you can only give yourself 20 minutes to read in bed before you conk out, it counts.

Some people, like my dad, are blessed in that they can only move in slow motion. I was with him in a mall the other day, and he offered to “run” across the street for some coffees. I should have been suspicious. He hasn’t run since 1923. He went for coffee and was gone for 90 minutes. I was ready to put out an APB. Later, at home, I went to fetch lunch. Up and out, into the car, down the road, into the restaurant and back home, all within 20 minutes.

I know I can be speedy. I take after my mother, who has always zoomed through her days. I like to walk briskly, drive fast and run for trains. When I cook, I like to have three or four things going at once. When I walk my dog, we trot. “Meander” is not in my vocabulary. But I also grab a power nap when I can.

Slow is not worse than fast; it’s just different, and much healthier.
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