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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

We did an outrageous thing.

We bought movie tickets for today. For a Thursday.

Ralph has been wanting to see the new Spiderman movie for weeks, but it has been consistently sold out. And nowadays with things like “the internet”, you can’t go one web page without reading some spoiler or other. So he’s been very eager to get to the theater, and I have been very eager to get him to the theater – not least of all because he is still covered in stress hives from this app project.

So in spite of the app project – or maybe because of it – we decided to take off from work a whole hour early and go to the movies.

I love a good superhero movie. More specifically, I love the Marvel superhero movies. I especially love Spiderman. True fact: my favorite part of The Electric Company was the Spiderman sketches. I totally had a crush on Spiderman.

The theater here is nice, and it has dine-in seating so you can order food and snacks and drinks, even wine! and have it delivered right to your seat. Well, that’s how it used to work, because now with Covid you have to order the food then take it back to your seat in takeout cartons. But food is food, especially food that I don’t have to cook or clean up after, so we’re having dinner with our movie.

Knowing that I’d have one less hour to barrel through my to-do list today, and feeling spent from [insert everything here], I made up my mind to make today’s word suit a purpose. Namely, to avoid having a nervous breakdown over a missed hour.

It’s stupid, isn’t it? There are no awards for busy. No gold stars for multi-tasking. There’s no life’s purpose to be found in shaving 86 seconds off a task and certainly no blue ribbon for having a brain crammed with stuff that’s six steps ahead of what you’re currently doing.

It’s in that spirit that I decided early to make today’s word be slow.

As in slow down. Slow your roll. Take it slow. Slow and steady.

Not as in slow as molasses. This wasn’t an exercise in procrastinating, nor an excuse to be lazy or idle.

But it was a day to move with some semblance of deliberation, without narrating the next four things I had to do before I did them.

I do that a lot. Play out entire scenarios in my brain before they happen. That whole visualization thing? Overrated. 99% of the time nothing happens the way I picture it, and 100% of the time I wonder why I continue trying to picture it.

Today I pictured nothing, except maybe a sloth swaying from a tree. Sloths aren’t lazy, they just take their time. Did you know it takes them 30 days to digest one meal? That cuts down substantially on bathroom breaks, which is quite efficient if you ask me.

What I did instead, was move slowly and deliberately through everything on my task list, without expectations of finishing anything at all.

Funny thing… I finished them all, and about a dozen other things I hadn’t planned to do. I feel like there’s a lesson here. Maybe something about worrying less and doing more. Seems like a topic for some future reflection.

In any case, slow was nice. Slowly pouring a cup of tea instead of hurrying to get it done and spilling the water on the counter. Slowly texting and having my words come out in actual English, not the gibberish that autocorrect thinks I should be typing.

Do you know that I can not type the word “and” in a text without it being corrected to “abs”? How many sentences a day include the word abs, I ask you? Also “tea”. My computer and/or phone do not like that word. Tea must become “yes” no matter how many times I fix it.

Perhaps my favorite all-time autocorrect is when I texted xoxoxoxoxo to my brother, a bunch of hugs and kisses. And it was corrected to Coca-Cola. You can’t make these things up.

And now I’m typing this slowly, a little meanderingly, taking my time to get to no point in particular.

One of my favorite books as a kid, one that still exists to this day in my parents’ attic, or perhaps now in my nephew’s hands, was Hurry Up, Slowpoke. I slowed down enough today to create myself a free Internet Archive account and read it online. It’s still one of my favorite books. If you don’t know it, or even if you do and haven’t read it in years, I highly recommend slowing down for the ten minutes it will take you to do it right now. It’s just hilarious.

I won’t do spoilers, but in tortoise-and-hare fashion, Slow Simon ends up having all the fun. That was me today, and it was perhaps not as full of adventures and hats, but it was quite a bit more enjoyable than the usual rush.

It was dark and cold by the time we got out of the movie, where cold is 25°, usually cause for me to race off to the car and my heated seats. But tonight I zipped up, tied my hood, and strolled across the parking lot with my arm in Ralph’s. And now I’m going to sit down and slowly sip a glass of Belle Meade Reserve, and actually taste it. I’m wondering if this whole thing can possibly trickle into tomorrow – no rush, of course.

Then again, maybe this can be the 1% of the time I don’t plan ten steps and a week ahead, and just let it unwind. Slowly.

Photo: A little Belle Meade starring with a few other selections on my whiskey shelf.