Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slow Down

Sharon Wildwind

Hear that crunching, grinding, squealing noise?

That’s all of us trying to go from zero to sixty now that the holidays are over. The transition is especially bad this year because Christmas and New Years fell on Saturdays, extending the holiday period for some people from Christmas Eve until today. That’s ten days of down time. It’s like the Hollywood writers’ strike in 2007-2008.

Can anyone remember what we were working on three months ago?
~Hollywood writer, returning to work after the writers’ strike, February 2008

Here’s my advice for the next month: slow down instead of speeding up.

But first, germs and viruses are out there waiting. The former public health nurse in me feels a need to deliver my annual service announcement.

1. Wash your hands often and well.

2. Wear a hat when you go outside. Research has shown that your mother was right. People who go bareheaded in cold weather get colds more easily.

3. If you’ve a mind to do so, and haven’t done it already, get a flu shot.

4. Don’t fill your cup, tea kettle, or water bottle from any sink where people wash their hands. Washing hands creates splash exposure: tiny germ-filled droplets bounce off hands onto the bottom of the faucet and they wait there to float along with the water into someone’s cup. If you’ve only got one sink to choose from, scrub the end of the faucet, particularly the bottom (where that little screen is) with soap and water before you get your water.

5. Unless you are there when the plastic wrap comes off or the bag of chips, cookies, etc. is opened, think twice about helping yourself to communal food. There is a geometric growth of the chance of food being contaminated with germs and viruses for every hour that it sits in the break room.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blog.

We are coming through the darkest time of the year. Every mammalian thing in our bodies wants us to curl up in a dark, warm place, ideally with a member of our preferred species, and wait for spring. Would that we could.

I think we owe it to ourselves to work ourselves up gradually, away from the holidays and back into whatever our favorite routines are. We need to take some deep breaths. Stretch like a cat. Drink lots of water. Get enough sleep. Cook some slow food. And approach our creativity, whatever it is, with some slow and gentle fingers exercises.

Quote for the week:

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
~Thomas Merton, (1915-1968), priest, poet, and social activist

1 comment:

Julia Buckley said...

I don't mind the winter months that much (unless I have to drive in a blizzard). They bring their seasonal joys, just as do the other seasons.

But your tips for survival are most worthwhile! Thanks.