Today at the gym we were all talking about what we were doing to save on gas. One of the guys said he was driving slower and leaving earlier so he wasn’t rushed. The conversation then took a turn (pardon the driving pun) to living with less stress and he remarked how much more relaxed he’s been since using these new driving habits.
If you think about it, that’s the way we should all drive anyway?it’s safer and less stressful. Think about it a little more: adopting a slower paced existence as a sort of plumb line for living can impact every area of life.
Let’s talk about these components: going slower and not being rushed and how this all relates back to food (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?). This is how success in the kitchen begins and how it ends too, with a good, healthy meal. Going slower at home means you have the time to actually MAKE your dinner, as opposed to going out, driving thru or making some kind of icky, just add water, convenience food.
Not being rushed means you can have quality time at the family dinner table, eat your food at normal pace instead of bolting it down and heading out the door; actually chewing instead of inhaling!
The average time spent at the family dinner table anymore is only about 20 minutes compared to the days of yesteryear of more than 1/2 hour. It’s interesting to note that the difference too, was that everyone was expected to show up at the family dinner table and it was taken for granted that it was a regular practice. Today it is all but impossible with everyone’s schedules requiring a Blackberry to track, including the baby’s!
Let’s slow down, okay? It’s really, really okay if your child doesn’t have a class, sport, enrichment activity or what have you most days of the week. It doesn’t mean you’re less of a parent if you’re not keeping up with the rest of the world and their fast paced lifestyle. CHOOSE to slow it down and hone in the heart of your home; the family dinner table. Cook together, serve the food together, eat, talk, discuss and listen to those precious people sitting around your table. You are a privileged woman?you’ve been given so much?give it back as you lovingly prepare a meal for them. Use this opportunity to show your beloved children how to clean up a kitchen, doing it with them. I’ve had the most incredible discussions with my children over the kitchen sink than any other place in my house. By the time my kids were both 10 years old, they were quite proficient at clean up!
Keeping our eyes on the prize (our families) will help us to rise above the treachery of a frantic life. Slowing it down is the secret to experience the joy that is there if we’re not rushing past it.
Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva since 2001