Slow is Free

I was walking the neighborhood, and saw some friends outside, so stopped to say hello. One had a question about tea filters, and the best method for loose-leaf teas. When describing the type bag I use, her husband began nodding his head, like he could envision what I’d described. He said, “I’ll just order some off Amazon and they’ll be here tomorrow, or maybe even tonight!” Everyone chuckled.

In January of this year, I stopped ordering from Amazon. Delivery is fast, but I was hugely disappointed in the quality of product. What I’d ordered looked as if it had been opened and for all I know, could have been used.

This made me look at other areas of my life in which I was paying for fast, and PayPal was another. To move money from PayPal into another account was immediate, for a price. They take a percentage of the money moved, which bothered me to no end, considering PayPal did nothing to earn the money. I was paying for convenience. You can move it for free, but they warn it may take 1-3 business days, but the money shows up in 24 hours.

Free takes more time. It helps is to pay attention and take note when you’re running out of something. To order it ahead of time and not pay an extra fee for fast, because in more ways than one, slow is free.

The First Hour

The dogs know when they see me flip over the sand timer, I’m going to tap the keys for 30 minutes. That’s how long the sand will run, and about as long as I’m good sitting in one spot. I remember when I first started Blogging, I could sit here for hours, and the posts were long. That changed over time. Maybe time revealed how valuable it is. It the one thing we spend that will not return, so try to use it wisely.

I woke up early this morning and it was still dark outside. I didn’t dare turn on the bedside lamp, or the dogs would think it was time to get up. They don’t move until they see the new day streaming in through the windows. It’s cloudy, so the day was here without them knowing it. I sat in darkness and listened to the stillness of the house. I could hear warm air coming in through the vents and was grateful for heat. I knew if I pulled the chain of the lamp beside me, it would illuminate the room, so I was grateful for electricity. There were many things to be grateful for, even the bed I was sitting on, blanketed in warmth.

Leo Babauta says, “There’s a deliciousness to the early morning.” We get to choose to roll out of bed and dive into the day, or wake up early to greet it. The first hour is sacred, and sets the tone for the rest of day.

I walked through the house, lit a candle, and made a cup of coffee. There is one lamp burning brightly as I sit at my desk and type. A nearby clock is ticking more loudly than my typing, but the house remains still. The sand timer has emptied, but I’m not ready to move just yet, because once I do, the house will spring to life. Thank you for sitting here with me in this stillness of the first hour.

A Practice in Patience

I gave myself a practice in patience. You may be familiar with Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles, and that is what I chose to practice with.

It was given to me this month and has a Christmas scent. The other day it was lit, but all three wicks were not much of a flame. They looked as if they could snuff out at any given moment. It’s a relatively new candle and this was the second time it’d been lit, so I blew it out and pondered my options. Bath and Body Works stand behind their products, so I knew I could take it to the store and they’d replace it with a new one. That was an option, or I could be patient and work with it to see how far we could go.

I lit all three wicks and they were struggling to remain lit. I placed it in a draft free zone away from activity. Two of the wicks began burning brightly, but there was one that wouldn’t stay lit. It kept going out and I’d relight it each time. I forgot about the candle for a while, but the next time I walked by and took a look, all three wicks were lit! Two of them had been burning long enough to melt down the wax, so the third one could breathe. The two stronger wicks helped the one that was struggling. We need that too.

It took hours of working with this candle, but my patience didn’t wane. We don’t know for sure how strong we really are until an area is tested. We’re capable of more than we give ourselves credit for and we don’t have to be surprised by every test. We can test ourselves to continually redefine our level of patience.