I was talking with a good friend the other day, and she mentioned that what she remembers most in friendships is the things that take time. The beautiful handwritten card from one friend, another friend sitting with her at the hospital while her son had tests, another baking homemade banana bread every time they caught up.
I drove away from her place pondering this idea, the idea that things that take time, things that are slower often are the things that are more meaningful.
But we are coming up to Christmas, and I don’t know if it’s just me but has the Christmas madness started earlier this year?
Are people already too frantic to exchange pleasantries at the checkout? Are they already too frazzled to drive carefully in the car park?
This year I am craving a slow Christmas: a Christmas of intention and connection; a Christmas of being, not consuming; a Christmas of reflection and not hustle.
I don’t know about you, but when I put something in the microwave, I often find myself impatiently watching the count down. Internally I am thinking, ‘Is it finished yet? It’s a microwave, it’s supposed to be fast.’
As a student I used to dread exams, the time that I used to study seemed hard and unnecessary. I thought that I had done the work and I knew my stuff. (My marks often demonstrated the truth or not of that!)
As a teacher I understood the need for them, but dreaded all the marking. The demonstration of how little or how much my students had taken in over the course of the year.
Now I am a stay at home mum with no exams to set, mark or even sit, and I am struck once more by how useful the process is.
I have just spent a couple of days down by the beach.
We have been going through a pretty crazy season in our household with a lot of things on. So packing to go away was a bit of a hassle. Having to organise the kids and myself and going somewhere different. Having to make sure that we had enough warm clothes and food for the weekend.