• Courtney McLane Mize

The Best Part of the Worst Year Part #2

2020 reminded me to slow down

It's no surprise that our lives are fast-paced. We are living in a time where a full schedule equates to productivity which equates to having meaning and purpose. How saddening is that; the idea that our value could be tied to a task list. Our entire culture centers around this idea of saving time, to save money, to make money. We place importance on high levels of efficiency and productivity in our jobs and in our homes. We are so conditioned to instant gratification that if the Facebook app on our phones doesn't open within a matter of seconds, we become annoyed and quite literally have a physiological stress response. The irony is that we didn't use to be this way; life didn't use to be this way. America has the highest rates of suicide, anxiety, depression, autoimmune conditions, miscarriages, obesity, and cancer, and our country is the most disconnected from the practices of our ancestors and the generations who preceded us.

Because of 2020, I value slowing down. I value time that doesn't fly by because I've been stressed, but has been elongated and filled with things that stir up gratitude. Take time to engage in meaningful conversation over a meal, to make the phone call you've been putting off, to truly breathe in the air outside. Some of my greatest joys of this year have been growing my own herbs, washing vegetables from the local farmers market, and spending hours baking bread.

Going to bed early is not a bad thing.

Reading books have replaced phone screens.

Slow mornings filled with watering plants, brewing coffee, and cleaning the floors have become a joyful choice instead of a monotonous chore.

This year has been a true reminder that our time is both precious and limited. I have been driven to live a life that is more intentional, a life that honors a slow-and-steady pace. The things that we find convenient are so far from conventional. Fast food and 5G will never bring us the comfort of home-cooked and unplugged. The Bible is a tangible advocate for patience, gentleness, and stillness, so why aren't we?

Slowing down.

Easing up.

Being present.

That's what 2020 has taught me; that has been the best part of the worst year.