Slow Down You Move Too Fast

When I was around five years old, I would play school with my neighbors, the sisters Theresa and Vanessa. They were that Catholic although I doubt either one became a nun. Vanessa was an old lady of probably nine and she was the teacher. She mostly taught me and Theresa songs like “Edelweiss” and “The 59th Street Bridge Song”. It was the 70s, you could mix “The Sound of Music” with Simon and Garfunkel.

The other night in an attempt to simultaneously soothe Brigid as well as crack her up, I sang “The 59th Street Bridge Song” to her.

Slow down you move too fast
Ya gotta make the morning last
Just trippin’ down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groooooovvyyy!!!

She laughed.

When I was growing up and frantic for everything to get done and panicked if I didn’t think it would, my mother would always say, “it always gets done.” No matter if “it” was a Halloween costume or a history paper, she was right. It always got done. Now that I am older and a mother, I have a clearer understanding of what she meant. There was much more to her words than completing a project. There was the idea of let it go, don’t sweat the small stuff before that became a best-selling book. Mom would also say, “and this too shall pass”. And doesn’t it? What is so monumental when one is young, seems so small as the years pass. Love will come around again. The bangs will grow out.

If there were one gift I could give to my girls it would be to slow down, it always gets and done and it gets done in its own time. I didn’t learn that lesson until I was probably 40.

You’re exhausted and can only think of crawling into bed and turning the world off? Do it. You can do the dishes in the morning and the clean kitchen police won’t come and issue a citation in the middle of the night. You are too tired and stressed out to finish your algebra tonight? Close the book and do it tomorrow. You will still have a shot at college if it’s not done till Monday. Why aren’t you in an academy award winning film at 15? I dunno. Keep working and maybe you will be in one when you’re 50.

I think I was 46 when I really got the gist of “Youth is wasted on the young.” The young lose so much time fretting about the trivial when they are healthy and beautiful and should be celebrating every day’s magic. Such is life though, I am not the first middle-aged woman to look at her children and shake her head thinking, “ahhh, if you only knew.” They’ll figure it out just as I did.

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20 thoughts on “Slow Down You Move Too Fast

  1. Clint says:

    Absolutely Beautiful! You’re a wise woman and wonderful writer. You calmed me down just reading and I’m not all that high strung to start with 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mags: This is a keeper. So well said, and such great advice.
    How lucky my grandbabies are. I love you, and your wisdom.

  3. unfetteredbs says:

    so hard to slow down… thanks for the reminder in this beautifully written post

  4. Brigitte says:

    Great post, Maggie. I loved “the bangs will grow out.” I guess we all do this and finally we say, it’ll get done when it gets done and be okay with that.

  5. Danni says:

    Read “A Visit from the Goon Squad”. As a writer, you will appreciate it v much.

  6. Nic says:

    The thought of celebrating every day’s magic rather than having emotional meltdowns over DVR malfunctions and 2-lb weight gains is positively frightening!!!

    But I did love this post, and hope to live that way someday (hopefully without the help of a prescription, but I won’t rule out the possibility).

  7. Nice post. It makes me think about how I wish I had the (alleged) wisdom I have now with the body I had then.

  8. travellingmo says:

    That’s advice that I need to keep in my head more often! Sometimes I’m too busy being busy and really do need to slow down and enjoy things more often. I spent my teen years as a worried goody two shoes who always did her homework. If I could go back, I think I ought to have slacked off and gotten in more trouble. I still would have gone to a good college and ended up in retail regardless!

  9. Anonymous says:

    love it but i’m pretty sure it’s “looking for FUN and feelin’ grovy.”

  10. Reblogged this on Southern Fried Chicken in Vegas and commented:
    While trying (not very whole heartedly) to catch up on blogs today, I came across this one. It was like a brick to the face or something like that.
    When did I get so obsessive about getting things done around the house that I stopped doing the things that make me happy? Sometimes it takes a stranger to tell you about yourself for you to listen.
    After reading this and actually getting the baby to take the nap of all naps, I decided to devote my day to catching up on some blogs and, if the baby continues to sleep, actually writing one.
    I did vacuum, though, because I just REALLY couldn’t help myself.

  11. La La says:

    Ever since I read this, the song has been in my head. I tried to comment from my phone but the WP app is being a ween. Anyway, this post brought me to tears and I wanted to thank you for posting it. I was in the moment the last time, but, I promise I still mean it. 🙂

  12. Andrew says:

    Oh c’mon, if you can’t be naked and humiliated with your co-worker then what has this world come too?

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