The modern world is a fast place. In hours, planes let us travel distances that used to take months. E-mail instantly transmits messages that used to take days to arrive. Netflix lets us watch a whole season of a TV show in a single weekend. But there are things that can’t be rushed.
Nature sticks to its set schedule, the seasons changing with the length of the day. In fact, most natural processes are limited in some way, so that healing takes a certain amount of time, as does growth.
This is where our lives as humans can get tricky. Technology has taught us to expect things to happen fast. It can make us expect the impossible, or at least the highly impractical, and it can lead to unhealthy habits. Like many people, I used to rely on caffeine to keep my brain clicking while I was working.
For me, caffeine was not a healthy choice. Along with making my mind race, it made me anxious and kept me from sleeping at night. In the ten-plus years since I gave it up, I’ve had to give up on being fast, too. Which brings me to today’s quote.
The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.Moliere
When I was a computer programmer, we used to say you can only have two of the following three things: fast, cheap, good. So being fast isn’t necessarily going to give you a bad product, but it is going to cost you something. For me, it was my health.
Today I try to embrace a slow-paced life. I am careful to schedule my days so that not too much happens on any given day. I work a little on my novel without waiting for a big block of time, because in fact I can’t work more than an hour or two a day.
I take comfort in the idea that slow has its benefits. It’s giving me the chance to produce high quality products without killing myself in the process.
Is there anything you have to do slowly?