Free to go very slow

Our box turtle pays a visit in June, 2005

Our box turtle pays a visit in June, 2005

“There’s absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go very slow.”Robert Frost

A box turtle couple has lived in the wooded lot behind our yard for all the years we have been there. We have never seen them together, but the brightly colored male or his mate occasionally appears at different spots in our yard, and we have seen the female laying eggs near our picket fence. We also see some delightfully tiny baby turtles from time to time. Often when I spot one of the turtles, I’ll run inside to get my camera. I am always amazed at how much ground they cover during the brief moments I’m gone. Sometimes they disappear altogether. It seems impossible to me that they can move so slowly, yet still go so far.

When things feel craziest and most out of control in my life, I find that it helps tremendously to give myself permission to ignore the clock. Almost any task can become pleasant if I don’t feel obligated to rush while doing it.  I put on my MP3 player tuned to an interesting audiobook, or some favorite lively music, and I take my time as I clean house, garden or walk.  I might not accomplish as much as I would if I pushed myself harder, but I feel happy and contented when I allow myself to go slowly.


  1. Remember this? PATIENCE (HERBERT THE SNAIL) LYRICS There was a snail called Herbert who was so very slow ,He caused a lot of traffic jams wherever he would go; The ants were always getting mad and the beetles, they would fume; But Herb would always poke along and sing this little tune: Chorus:Have patience, have patience, Don’t be in such a hurry; When you get impatient, you only start to worry; Remember, remember that God is patient, too, And think of all the times when others have to wait for you. (my next comment includes a link)

    • Wow, does that bring back memories of a very young (toddler) Ryan singing that song! Hard to believe he will be 37 this month? Can that be possible?

    • It’s amazing how many things from long ago can still be found online! I’m glad this song is still around for little ones to enjoy. (Disclaimer: when I clicked on the button to play the video at the above site, I got an ad pop-up that was not exactly wholesome – so check carefully before showing this to kids.)

  2. Good Post.

    • Thank you, I appreciate your encouragement!

  3. George has often given me the same admonition (in his own words) that you express when you say: “Almost any task can become pleasant if I don’t feel obligated to rush while doing it.”
    He is thoroughly convinced that happiness is an inside job…(CAN BECOME PLEASANT). It’s what people mean when they say: “Stop and smell the roses”. Take the time to enjoy and appreciate EVERYTHING.

    • I love that phrase “happiness is an inside job” – I’ve never heard it put quite that way before, but it’s truth!

      • I first heard “Happiness is an inside job” from Zig Ziglar….still love him! Life is too short to waste our time belly-aching over things that won’t matter 100 years from now!

        • Ann Lamott tells a wonderful story about going shopping with her best friend who was dying of cancer. To cheer her friend up, she was trying on clothes and making jokes. At one point she asked “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” and her friend just looked at her and said, “Annie, you don’t have that kind of time.” She said she instantly GOT IT and has never forgotten. Neither have I. Not much of what we spend our time on will really matter in the long run.

  4. I used to try and sing the words from the song by Alabama, “I’m in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life’s no fun” as a way of slowing myself down a bit. Now it just seems I sing the lyrics faster to match my hectic pace. I will say a prayer for peace in my heart and mind today. A prayer to slow down and enjoy all my life has to offer. As I am saying my prayers for you my wonderful friend. Take care. God bless.

    • Thank you Amy. One of the good things to come out of all the heartbreak we are enduring right now is that we are somewhat FORCED to live one day at a time and to relish every minute we all have together no matter how many sad or bad things are going on. No matter how long any of us lives, LIFE IS SHORT! Thanks for everything and especially for the prayers.

  5. Kathy Yaccino

    I think my happiest moments last spring were sitting on a step stool on my patio (camera in hand) watching cardinal parents flying back and forth to tend the babies in their nest. The whole world could have stopped turning; I would have been that oblivious to it and would have been content to sit there all day!

    • I used to wonder how people got into bird-watching, but the more I see of the birds, the more I understand it.


  1. Nothing is | Defeat Despair

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