Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Operating speed: slow

From "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas."
It was Monday night before we got around to watching a long-time, joy-affirming holiday favorite.  I think we discovered "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas" when it was among the discs that came with the revolutionary RCA video disc player, available to employees at the NBC Family Store in the 1980s, exact year long forgotten.  The Jim Henson production would not, I fear, be funded by any current tv network.  Puppets, I hear people shriek.  Puppets, indeed, who can roll out pie dough, scrub clothes on a washboard, hammer a nail and row a boat.  Puppets telling a slightly scruffy human story, simple and kind.

My one speed, slow, allows for just so many activities, chores, thoughts and still pauses in any given day.  Because slow and gentle seem to prefer each others' company, I've chosen to leave behind some old ways of being and doing.  While on hold two days ago for my health care provider, returning a call that caused me anxiety since I had no idea what it was about, I realized the tension that overtook me used to be the norm.  Agitation was my common state and assuming that whatever was up for scrutiny or discussion, I'd done it wrong, was always my first quess.  For the few moments I hovered there in uncertainty, I could feel how wrong that place was.  I was aware of the cumulative damage that results from chronic anxiety.  What a gift to be a permanent resident there no longer.

We are intended, I believe, to be softer, more yielding, far more flexible and forgiving that most of us started out to be.  None of this, life, is a race or competition.  Between thoughts of "let it go" and "don't take it up in the first place," I've found peaceful states which I still regard with occasional suspicion.  What sorcery is this?

New Year's resolutions lost their luster some years ago.  A day is a day, each one an opportunity to begin again.  During those day, I am strengthened by hanging out with the likes of Emmet Otter and his Ma, their philosophical acceptance of unplanned outcomes making room for bright happenstance.  I am shored up against unfavorable winds by laughter and norty weasels, then quieted by applying color pencils to papers with a smooth finish and some silly stamped images.

Sleep makes me happy, almost absurdly so, for it feels like such a luxury and costs nothing.  Can this be?  Remaining present takes focus and practice.  There will always be something shiny to distract me, something shiny or sinister and I am healthier, stronger, for ignoring its stage whispers.

I speak to myself, not in harsh terms, before I've taken too many steps into a matter which hasn't arrived yet, notice when I droop from regret or remorse for the unchangeable past.  Though I may refer to myself with some irony as "jittery," I am less prone to the whim-whams than I used to be.  On the cusp of 70, I feel alternately foolish as I imagine new ventures and heartened by the ability even to consider them.

Thank you for your visits and comments.  Let's have a group dance to celebrate our various triumphs.


Elizabeth said...

Happy New Year, you dear woman. Your words are balm to the soul today. Thank you!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Happy New Year to you, always called for duty on the front lines. How fortunate for us the well is bottomless, balm abundant, it will see us through with all we need and more. To miracles! xoxo

Kass said...

Ah yes, I'm attracted to this slow speed and your words....ALWAYS.

Happiness and contentment are wished, but also assumed since you are so wise.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. Wise, I will take that to heart with gratitude. Truly, between the slowness and ability to do one, and only one, thing at a time contentment and happiness seem much more accessible. Hectic and busy rob us of so much. xoxo

Legs said...

slow and steady wins the race

Marylinn Kelly said...

Legs - Hurrah! for the tortoises. xo