31 Days of Aging Gracefully: Day 3 — Slowing Down


Can you see those pretty things out there? They’re small from this view, taking up very little space on the horizon. Every Wednesday evening during the summer months, these little beauties sail out of the harbor and enjoy the long light and gentle breezes we greedily absorb here in Santa Barbara. 


They hold between one and four sailors each, and look so jaunty and graceful as they catch the wind and sail off.

The truth, of course, is that these small craft generally move fairly slowly, compared to larger, motorized boats. It’s also true, that on a good wind, they can dart around very quickly indeed. But overall, sailing is not done for speed, do you think? It’s done for the exhilaration of being out on the water and moving across it with agility. There is something to be said for taking the motor off, I think.

Big engines are important and have certainly changed our world, mostly for the better. We can cross oceans and continents in very little time these days. But sometimes, it’s good to sail rather than motor. Good to take a little time to look around, to pay attention, to feel the wind in your face or at your back. Sometimes, it’s good to slow down, just a little.

With age, comes slowing. It’s necessary and it’s good, though we tend to fight it pretty hard. Even if you work to keep in shape, if you eat well and exercise regularly, your body cannot move as quickly as it once did. And sometimes you even need a nap in the middle of the day! Imagine that. 

But there is a bonus to lessening energy and speed. Would you like to know what it is?

You really get to enjoy the view.

Like these small watercraft, you can look around at all the hustling, engine-driven boats and cars on the shore or in the harbor and you can breathe in and breathe out with joy and thanks. Why? Because you’re going at just the right speed. It feels pretty fast to you, in point of fact. It feels just right.

And that is a very good thing.

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Just Wondering

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  1. What a neat perspective!

    • Thank you, Barbara. I loved watching these boats the afternoon we saw them from up on the bluffs. And it struck me that their view of us must be stunning, too. And it must be happening at a perfect speed. I’m trying to hold that ruth for myself as I enter this slower season of life.

  2. I agree with you, Diana. The lessening energy and speed are compensated for by a greater ability to slow down and enjoy the view, and indeed the moment. It helps us to appreciate life for the wonder it truly is. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂 x

    • Thank you for these kind words, Joy, and for your faithful tweeting of these posts. You are such a good friend to me in this space and I thank you.

  3. Always you speak wisdom. 3 years behind you and I am starting to notice. I also do not have a desire to be so BUSY. This Extrovert feels more like an introverted extrovert if there is such a person. Maybe I was all along. Maybe the busyness filled something for me. I am beginning to suspect that might be the case. I crave the quiet days and if I have too many outside things to do I get anxious. I am ” emerging” these last coup,e of months. I hVe the energy to WANT the connection but too much is not good. Always a balance.

    And now that I am committed to writing my story I guard that time each week and realize I want more of it.

    • Me, too, Carol! Extrovert who lands smack dab in the middle now, and I long for more quiet and more time alone sometimes.

  4. Lovely metaphor!

  5. Anne-Marie says

    Diana this is perfect for me this morning. I kept my self rather busy while my family gone and woke very tired today. Watched a race just like this yesterday. Great reminder to listen to the rhythms of our season and body so we can be fully present and enjoy!

  6. Yes, a wonderful perspective, Diana. Slowing down is not at all a bad thing; I know I notice more when I do less activity and just enjoy the moment.