Friday, August 20, 2010

Not doing much....

Way back on August 1st, I mentioned writing about instant gratification and how I don’t believe in it.  I planned to write some stories about times that patience paid great rewards and how waiting made the experience all that much sweeter.  For some reason, my attempts at those stories were just plain boring, like patience and waiting themselves.   The stories just didn’t seem to be going anywhere.  At least not fast enough. 

Recently, I've been hearing the term "slow food" bandied about and thought that maybe my love of cooking and bread baking could provide the vehicle I needed for discussing my dismay at expectations of immediate rewards.  So, I looked up the phrase “slow food” and hit paydirt.  Instantly! How gratifying!

It turns out the “Slow Food” movement has been with us a while.  It began in 1986 as a protest to the opening of a McDonalds near the Spanish Steps in Rome.  As you can see from this picture that Al took in Rome, Ray Croc must have won that particular battle, and now Mickey D’s can save you from the interminable wait for a risotto or freshly baked pizza at noon.

 The slow food movement includes a number of truly noble ambitions including promoting local and regional culinary traditions and preserving family farms.  But the fun part of my research came when I discovered an outgrowth of the “slow” movement called the “International  Institute of Not Doing Much” (IINDM).  Their motto is “Multitasking is a moral weakness” and they encourage their 3000+ members to promote a life of slowing down and doing less.  They are fighting a condition called gettingthingsdoneitis and I must confess, I suffer from this malady.  Fortunately, I am not a truly lost cause, because I have not yet tried to exercise and sleep simultaneously and I rarely take phone calls while in the bathtub  (the camera on my cell phone would make me nervous!)

Below I have quoted IINDM’s  10 rules of slowing down:

1. Drink a cup of tea, put your feet up and stare idly out of the window. Warning: Do not attempt this while driving.

2. Do one thing at a time. Remember multitasking is a moral weakness (except for women who have superior brain function.)

3. Do not be pushed into answering questions. A response is not the same as an answer. Ponder, take your time.

4. Learn our Slow Manifesto.

5. Yawn often. Medical studies have shown lots of things, and possibly that yawning may be good for you.

6. Spend more time in bed. You have a better chance of cultivating your dreams (not your aspirations.)

7. Read the slow stories.

8. Spend more time in the bathtub. (See letter from Major Smythe-Blunder.)

9. Practice doing nothing. (Yes this is the difficult one.)

10. Avoid too much seriousness. Laugh, because you're only alive on planet earth for a limited time.

The website is great fun and I recommend it for a good laugh.  If you look around for a while, you'll see that they have some good points.  I think they're on to something.   So, in the spirit of not doing much, I’ll stop writing this blog and let you check it out for yourself.

Today I am grateful for laughter. Sometimes, I can be too serious for my own good!

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