Saturday, April 24, 2010

Looking for School Zones

Last week, I was driving with a friend of mine when all of a sudden I realized that I was actually in tune with the conversation that we were having. We were about 10 minutes into our drive from point A to point B when we came across those blinking yellow lights indicating a school zone. I slowed down from 35 to 20 mph only to realize that my entire day slowed down in that moment. As we drove through the school zone, I noticed the homes on the street, the kids walking along the sidewalks and most of all; I caught every single word that my friend spoke. I love hitting the school zones, because they are my new built in reminder that life is happening.

About 5 weeks ago, Kris and I took the kids on an 8 day road trip. Our adventure landed us in Austin, TX at a friend’s house. It was a life changing experience for us as we spent every minute of all 8 days together as a family. We spent our days at parks and festivals and shopping malls and other friend’s homes. We spent our evenings sitting together eating dinner, bathing the kids, reading and then after putting them to sleep, we would sit together engaged in real conversation over a glass of wine.

After being there for about 6 days, we couldn't figure out why we felt so connected to each other and to all of our kids. We could only determine that we both felt incredibly relaxed and loved the slow pace of life we were experiencing. Obviously, part of our ability to relax was the simple fact that we were on vacation and away from the normal hustle and bustle of our busy lives. But, there was still more to it than that. I have been on many ‘vacations’ and still missed the moments. This was different. This was intentional. Kristy and I ventured out on this trip very determined to make the most of our time as a family and as a couple.

It was also on day 6 in Austin that we determined to become more intentional from that day on. Since that fantastic vacation, we have been on a quest to figure out how to slow down in our everyday, ordinary life. So far, it has been amazing. As a family, I feel that we are more connected than ever before. Some of the ways that we have become more intentional include:

Getting rid of our television. We got rid of the TV and re-arranged our den to accommodate a slower pace of life.

Slowing down in the mornings. Instead of rushing out to Starbucks each morning (I was usually at the coffee shop each morning an hour before even needing to be at work), I now prepare breakfast each morning and help get the boys ready for school. I get to work on time.

Slowing down at night. After eating dinner, bathing the kids, cleaning the kitchen and putting the boys to bed (we’ve always done all of these things together), we sit on the sofa and enjoy a little wine (or beer or coffee) and real conversation. It’s cool.

Looking for school zones. Now, I try to live at a much slower pace and love hitting the school zones, because they serve as my reminder to be engaged in the everyday, ordinary moments of this good life.


Crispin Schroeder said...

Good stuff bro!

Pi Man said...

Hey Brian, nice to see a blog from you again as it's been a while. I don't know if you've ever read my Blogger profile, but one of the things that I have listed under (I think) "Interests" is "slowing life down." So I completely understand what you mean. There is not enough space nor is this the forum to expound on that right now, but suffice it to say (at the risk of the obvious redundancy) that I understand. That said, I cannot overstate the fact that I had a big smile on my face as I read the "revelation" you have been given regarding this. Awesome, Bro. I think it's just awesome. Peace. TA

Rebecca Allen said...

Oh Brian, this makes me want to burst into tears! Love it, and it makes me realize how tired I am from being so busy! Thanks for sharing because you will give others hope that being more simple is actually possible with some effort to go counter-culture.