The Value of the Pause

If you’re not convinced yet, or perhaps need a reminder, I wanted to post this video about the value of slowing down. The video is of Carrie Contey from Slow Family Living at the Austin TED talk. If you don’t think you have time to watch the video, consider that it might be a sign that you need to watch it.

Taking a break to rejuvenate is as important to our children’s development as it is to us. In my opening post to Tortoise on the Loose, I mention how children are reflective of their parents – if we want them to slow down, we need to do so also.

By and large, slowing down is my most pressing challenge. In a weird twist, our efforts to ‘slow down’ have resulted in a lot more work – I’m cooking, baking and gardening more. The advantage is that it is work that can involve the girls (the Bear loves to play the game, ‘match the socks’ when we fold laundry!) But I do need regular pauses. And a pause, for me, is something that is separate from household work and parenting.

In the afternoon, just after lunch, we all have rest time – Banana always naps and the Bear will sometimes nap or just read stories on her bed. In this time, I always take time for me. I read, write or sleep and try to ignore the pull of things that need to be done.

I’ve quickly learned to leave behind any guilt in taking this time for myself. For me, this pause helps remind me that my identity is more than ‘mother.’ I need this time to decompress and, like Contey talks about, to ‘be’ rather than ‘do.’ This video was a nice reminder that there is power in a pause; a pause sustains and rewards. It also makes me a much more cheerful parent in the afternoon!

4 Responses to “The Value of the Pause”

  1. 1 Carrie Contey May 13, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Thanks for posting my talk! I love what you are doing. My very very best,

  2. 3 Dad May 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Yes I did watch after lunch -Pause!

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