Everywhere we look things are telling us to move faster, do more, be more and cram everything in that we can.
One of my 2011 Challenges is to slow down. The area I want to hone in on might surprise you: eating.
I want to eat slowly. I want to savor my food instead of rushing through dinner. I want to to take enough time that I never get that overly full uncomfortable feeling after a meal. I want to enjoy the conversation at the table instead of mentally rehearsing the post-meal clean-up, bathe son, bedtime routine scenario.
If it took me 40 minutes to prepare dinner shouldn’t it take more than 12 minutes for it to be eaten?
I’ve always been a quick eater. It’s a much needed skill when you grow up in a family of seven people. My eating patterns and speed were often motivated by supply issues: you better eat two grilled cheese sandwiches and quick because that block of cheese ain’t gonna be here tomorrow. If there was a treat in our pantry it wasn’t likely to last 24 hours. The mantra was consume as much as you could because tomorrow those chips would be a memory.
The eating pace bunny in our home was my older brother. He could polish off vast quanities of food in rapid fire. Obviously, my ten year old self could not keep up with a sixteen year old boy’s eating capactiy. But I tried. I won’t bore you with chubby youth stories but know that my speed eating was ingrained at a young age.
Adulthood and the removal of competition for food has helped me slow down some. But I still find myself racing through a meal, thinking about what’s next on the agenda and can I fit a load of cloth diaper laundry in before bed time.
It’s time to linger over a meal. It’s time to, gasp, not finish everything on my plate.
I’m looking forward to better digestion, possibly losing a few pounds and engaged meal time conversation. Even if the dinner table conversation revolves around my son’s antics with his sweet potato.
If you need some resolve to slow down in every day life check out this post on The Happiest Mom about I’m-so-busy-itis. I completely agree that it is boring to hear people talk about how over-run their schedules are and how long their to do lists have grown. I say this and have been guilty of I’m-so-busy-itis before. Slowing down and going minimalist have helped me in this area. When catching up with friends I can now talk about a book I read or activity Henry and I did together or that I finally conquered the big box jump at Crossfit. Those are better conversation starters than I’m so busy I barely have time to pee.