Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There is a time to dawdle...


Cause to feel completely exhausted; wear out.
The state of being completely exhausted or worn out: "I'm tired, worn to a frazzle".
verb.  fray
noun.  exhaustion - weariness

It has been a fast paced few weeks with lots of pockets full of stress that unfortunately brought me to an ugly place...an adult tantrum.  Now I didn't kick and scream and throw myself on the floor but I did sulk and blow through some kleenex.  This week has been much better in many areas...better in part through reflection of my life.  Before you quit reading because you think I am simply venting I will change to my topic of dawdling.

I often tell my students that we, Americans, tend to try to hurry children up...we cannot wait for them to walk, to talk, to potty on the potty, to recite their ABCs, the list goes on.  Listen to parents or teachers talk to children...we often hear "don't dawdle", "hurry up", "come on", "we're late", and so on.  What is the rush?  Are we in a race?  Maybe I, or we, can learn a few things from children's lolly gagging.

If we think like kids and stop to pet a caterpillar every now and then I think our sanity would be better preserved.  Here are some things that we might "see" if we took the time to slow down and smell the dandelions:

  1. We might notice the holes that the very hungry caterpillar ate in a leaf on a tree.
  2. We might be able to find enough change in little hidey holes to buy a grande vanilla frappa mochachino.
  3. If we unlace and relace our tennis shoes we may find that they actually fit better using every other lace hole.
  4. What if while digging a hole in the sandbox I did end up in China... discover a dinosaur...or realize how relaxing sensory play is?
  5. If I slow down I can walk with my shadow.
  6. I can talk into my office fan in my coolest Darth Vader voice.
  7. I can out build catapults with a 4 year old.
  8. I can beat a 5 year old at Pokemon memory.
  9. When I don't scurry through life I notice patterns...in the tile floor, in a fence, in the grooves on my pen.
  10. When I slow down and take a breath I can sort out what is bothering me and decide if it is really worth all the stress...and chances are we have created the stress and the short breather helps us work past the stress.
I am not ashamed to say that I have decided to follow through on my declaration of stating there is a time to dawdle...I have already cancelled my class for Friday and turned in my absence report.  It was tempting to write in my reason as, "personal dawdling day" but I may want to do it again and I'll need a fresh new reason for that day.

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