A Letter To My Future Child: Slow Down

Dear Future Child,

You will watch a lot of movies growing up, and not just when I get too tired to fully supervise you (even though movies are a great alternate babysitter). And one of those movies will be Ferris Buehler’s Day Off. Not only will this movie teach you about being young and reckless, it will teach you about slowing down. As Ferris says while he constructs his master plan to get out of another mundane day of high school, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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And if this isn’t the cold hard truth, I don’t know what is.

There will be days when you wish life would move faster. When the shower is cold and you spill your cereal and get stuck in traffic and stub your toe and breakup with a boyfriend and fail a test and miss an opportunity and cry yourself to sleep. Because that’s life. I can’t protect you from days like these, and every time they happen I’ll wish I could. However, every day is only 24 hours, the good and the bad.

And you’d be surprised how fast 24 hours can go when you aren’t expecting it.

My dear child, the main takeaway from this post is to slow down. If there’s one piece of advice I’d give myself, it’s this. Because I’ve been moving so fast, my entire first year of college is over in three weeks. I’ve been moving so fast that my second decade will be here in a few months, and that’s an important, meaningful age. I’ve been moving so fast, that sometimes I don’t even take the time to appreciate how beautiful life can be through a non-stressed lenses.

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I walk too fast, because I don’t want to be late. I eat too fast, mostly because I’m not as mindful as I should be. I shower too fast, so that I have enough time to dry my hair. I drive way too fast, and don’t have an actual excuse for this one other than a lack of patience.

I want you to slow down today when you go for walk, and enjoy the color of the flowers in our yard. Slow down when you eat lunch, and think about how wonderful the combination of rice and seaweed pairs together (if you end up eating as much sushi as I do, anyways). Slow down when you shower today, I promise our water bill will maintain the heat. And most importantly, never get into the habit of driving as fast as your mother. This one is non negotiable.

And you know what? If you have to skip a day or two of school to stop and look around every once in a while, I’ll call in and tell the office you have a fever. Life’s too short not to.

Yours truly,

Madeleine

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