Spring is in the air, that musty grass smell after being covered by snow. The birds are chirping (quite loudly, I must admit) and there is this noise in the neighbourhood of children laughing and giggling and riding around on their bikes. Spring is about renewal as everyone knows. When others create their “New Year’s resolutions” in January, I wait until springtime to unveil to myself what my New Year’s persona is going to include. After careful planning, intense deliberation, and weighing all the pros and cons I have decided that this is the year I will learn to slooooooooooooooow dooooooooooooooooown. I am welcoming in my Year of the Snail. How did I come upon this fascinating conclusion? Sit back and relax while I tell you story.
Our tale begins with a middle-aged female, who, after years of dreaming and looking at pictures and requesting travelers to bring her postcards from their various vacationing destinations…finally got to travel to this place they all called “SOUTH”. It was a wondrous place that this lady had heard about, where the sun continually shines, the water is pure majestic blue, the sand is soft, and there is nothing to do but smile and nap and do this bizarre action called “relaxing”. Yes, so many very strange terms that the woman had never experienced before and yet here she was, ready to take this indiscriminate journey SOUTH.
Many tips and tricks were shared with the naïve female and her Wiseguy husband. What to pack, how much to pack, where to go, what to do, where to eat, what to eat, health measures, first aid measures…her mind was overflowing with worry about this travel and if they would really be prepared for this overwhelming adventure. After packing (over-packing truly), they spent a sleepless night and more tiresome day venturing before sunlight to the place where the metal birds fly you to this SOUTH place. As tires touched ground at the destination, a tear slipped down her warm cheek. She was SOUTH and it was like heaven on earth.
They stepped out of the plane into warm air. No hail or snow, just glorious sunshine and palm trees. She stared in amazement at the beauty of it all and had a hard time absorbing everything she was seeing. “So this is SOUTH,” she thought and a calmness washed over her. There was no fear of the unknown. There was no more worry about what was packed. For some strange reason, she knew everything would be wonderful here. THE END.
Yes, it’s all true. I, the victorious lady in the story, was treated to a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (Thank you Most Awesomest Wiseguy husband). One of many hot places that we here from the North call SOUTH. Truly a great experience with wonderful people to meet and also lots of quiet time to relax. No thinking about shoveling snow. No thinking about work. No thinking about cleaning or chores. Really, somehow your brain gets re-set to think about what is really important in life: remember to have fun and enjoy this ride called life!
Life should not centre on work and bills. We always make those our priority and they usually lead us to fret and stress and sleepless nights. Breathing in and out (which we are very lucky to do on a daily basis) and actually taking in and appreciating beauty and the good things we have around us are what makes us happy and makes this “life” thing worth living.
I officially welcome you to the Year of the Snail! Try it! Live with less rush! (Factoid: a garden snail travels approximately 1.3 cm per second). Breathe…in…breathe…out… and appreciate what you have. Don’t overthink or overplan everything. There may not be any roses to stop and smell, but sometimes just listening to your breath, and knowing your alive is oftentimes the most valuable gift you will have today. Here’s your life…what’s your hurry?
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” ~Lily Tomlin