Monday, April 19, 2010

Pace Versus Stop & GO

Lately our pace has been full of sudden stops and frenetic gos. We've accomplished a lot, but we're suffering from it.... well, if not suffering exactly, we are tired and crabby.

Elliot can officially pedal her trike to the park!

I am a firm believer in pace. Some might say a fanatic, really. I am usually careful to temper even our busiest days with the regular signposts that keep the girls rested, fueled, and (at least somewhat) content.

The rhythmic pace of our lives is not just for them either. I have always needed quiet space, still points in each day to gather myself before The Next Thing.

Ever cautious, Maya takes her time on the big kid bike.

For a beautiful essay from the NPR "This I Believe" series, take a moment to read The Practice of Slowing Down, by Phil Powers. I heard it on the radio years ago, and still it comes to me during busy times.

After all the illness-induced stop lately, we have been nothing but go all weekend.

Two girls never enjoyed a fake thunderstorm so very much.

Somehow we have crammed in a visit to the Mall of America (I usually avoid that consumerist shrine, but once every few years is okay, right?) and its Nickelodeon theme park, dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe, an afternoon of swimming at the local pool, a bike tour of a nearby park... and that was all in one day!

We also hit several other parks, had no fewer than 5 picnics, cultivated the garden, mowed the estate, and completed hundreds of smaller projects on the to do list... plus a date night... and finally, late yesterday afternoon, we attempted an adventure day.

I didn't notice our lack of pace until the adventure day dissolved into tears, whining, and a major tantrum - don't worry, not all of the bad behavior was mine.

I so wanted to take a nice walk around the Eloise Butler Wildflower garden, and the girls just weren't into it. Perhaps that place is bad luck for me, as it was the site of one of the most memorably terrible adventure days in history (yep, I didn't blog that one).

Just as I was ranting about having to limit myself to Chuck E Cheese or the Mall of America thanks to kids who just can't appreciate a beautiful natural wonder, I realized we were simply tripping over our own pace.

The beds are tilled and fertilized. The paths are mulched and weed proof. Tomorrow, we plant!

The girls are exhausted. I failed to see that because I too was past my limit. I've been an advocate for slow living for years. Pace is the number one reason I have stepped out of the paid workforce. This weekend illustrated my point. Lovely though it was... it was all a blur.

This week's project: regain our stride.


Diane said...

Oh the EBW garden is a jinxed one and only adventure day forever emblazoned in my poor memory... Do you think Eloise must have hated kids or something? And left her bad juju planted among her flowers? :)

Sarah said...

My guess... The curse is under her loo, not her flowers :).


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