Pursuing Peace: Quick quick slow

Friday, 7 July 2017

(Just as a warning, I'm going to be peppering this post with some of the best Leslie Knope quotes I can find, not because they necessarily match up with what I'm talking about, but because I love her. Not in any way sorry.)

This quote really sums up my whole blog.

I read Yes Please by Amy Poehler ages ago (I wrote a blog post inspired by it then, too ...) and there was a section near the end that stuck with me. It is about time travel:

'Time moves too fast or too slow. But I know a secret. You can control time. You can stop it or stretch it or loop it around. You can travel back and forth by living in the moment and paying attention. Time can be your b**** if you just let go of the "next" and the "before".'

I like this idea a lot. I like the thought of being able to take charge of which moments I linger over, and which ones I want to skip through, if possible. It is empowering. It is not entirely true(which is why waiting for my husband to get home from work so I can pass him the baby and go for a wee in peace feels like it is going to take FOREVER) but it does kind of make sense.

Recently we were rushing around all morning (because that's what we do now) brushing teeth, stuffing chubby baby arms into tiny clothes whilst said baby shouts at us, packing bags with packets of wetwipes and snacks and raincoats and suncream, wrangling the buggy into the boot, that sort of thing. We were trying to get to a restaurant to meet my family for a belated birthday meal for my Dad. And after all that rushing, we actually managed to get there early. We met up with my parents (also early) and enjoyed a coffee together. The baby slept in the buggy while my daughter coloured in a kids menu.

I honestly don't think I've relaxed that much in a while. It only lasted for a few minutes, but to sit there and unfurl all my tension from the morning whilst sipping my drink made me feel like a zen master. Or like Flop from Bing Bunny.

I think there are things in my life that I can legitimately rush through in order to savour the better moments. Like for example, ironing: I have given up, frankly. We were putting things into piles 'to be ironed' but the neither of us ever got around to doing it and it meant that small piles of clothes were accumulating around the house and I never knew where to find my one good pair of jeans or whatever, until eventually my mother in law spotted them and took all of it home in a binbag to iron for us. So now, we hang everything up wrinkly, and hope that the wrinkles will magically drop out. If they don't, I quickly iron it in the morning on the dining room table. Two extra minutes every day feels like a small price to pay for not having to see wrinkly clothes everywhere.

Also, nappy changing. Who does that whole Pampers-parent thing of slowly changing their baby whilst smiling toothily? No-one, that's who. My baby gets dumped on the sofa and I whip the old nappy off and shove the new one on like a ninja. He barely sees it coming. He doesn't have time to wriggle away. Baby 0 - Mum 1.

Also, cooking. If I'm getting the chopping board/colander out, I'm going to make the most of it by chopping up a stupid amount of food and cooking it all at once. Cooking time halved! Leftovers forever. Even if you have to do weird combinations like a tiny bit of casserole and some garlic bread and a bit of (wilted) salad and maybe a few oven chips.

All of these quick-let's-get-this-over-with moments leave you with time to enjoy the things you want to. And there's a lot of those.

Like coffee in the morning. My daughter, who is now used to me, understands that only the bare minimum of requests will be answered until the coffee has been consumed. My son is slowly being trained to respect this same rule and will sit in his bouncy chair talking to his toys. The deal is, if the kids insist on getting up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning, they have to at least allow me the time it takes to turn from a cavewoman into a normal functioning human, without disturbing me.

And reading stories. Sometimes, the mood will be just right, the baby will be napping and I will scoop up my daughter and read to her and all other jobs that need to be done melt away while we read I Want My Hat Back again.

And watching my baby while he sleeps. Yes, this is quite creepy. But no matter how much of a pain he's been that day, seeing him sleeping so innocently makes me melt, and so sometimes I just stare at him, like I'm trying to burn the vision of his small-ness onto my eyeballs or something.

And sitting quietly with my husband. We don't hear a lot of quiet, which is good because really, I like the busy noise of family life. Occasionally though? All is calm. And before we do anything else, we will just sit there on the sofa in wonder of it. One of us will probably say 'It's so quiet.' And the other one will say 'Mmm.' And then more silence. Just for a minute. A long, peaceful minute.

These are the moments to pay attention to.

What things do you rush through so you have time to linger over something else? Let me know ... I'm always up for tips ;)

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  1. I love the idea of making time my bitch!

  2. I have saved the time travel quote. I ❤️ it! There are many things I have learned to let go of and I agree ironing is one! I hate ironing. I also hate washing the windows and do those only when covered in bird poo or I can't see out of them. If I'm lucky my hubby will do them. I savour cuddles, time with friends, beach walks and reading a good book. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  3. That is a pretty awesome quote and I love the idea! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  4. Minimal housework (always!) Meg. Those quite moments will come faster than you think (and now we have too much hahaha). Great post x


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