We move slow. Like really really slow. If you compared us to The Tortoise and The Hare, we are a family of tortoises. This requires patience. It requires me to shut my mind down and not be in a hurry. It requires some practice too because slowing down doesn’t just come naturally.
Saturday after our football game, Sister K and Husband headed back immediately. Husband had to study and Sister K had evening plans. I stayed behind with Mom, Dad and Grandpa because I didn’t have anything going on that evening. There are two ways for Mom and Dad to get home and one of them would pass through our city so they could drop me off en route home. This way I could drive the majority of the way back and give Dad a break.
As the four of us walked into a restaurant to meet up with my Godfather and his wife after the game, I noticed how slow we were moving. As I helped Mom to the restroom and back to our table, we moved slow. Then en route on the way back we made a restroom stop at McDonalds and this ended up being about a 30 minute break for us.
I did a good job of not getting frustrated. I think I mentally was just thinking, this is what it is. This is what it is. Getting frustrated is not going to make Mom move faster. Mom is moving as fast as she can. She was worn out by the time she had walked inside McDonald’s with her walker and back out to the car. I saw it in her face how much effort was involved for something that many people take for granted. But even though she is moving slow, in the world of MS the important piece is she is moving. And for that I am thankful.
But it’s still hard. It’s hard because you have to desensitize yourself to your surroundings. Stop watching the people who are able to get in and out of McDonald’s in 5 minutes. Stop thinking of the clock ticking by into the late night while you are tired and patiently walking slow with Mom. Making sure your face stays pleasant during all of this patient waiting. Continuing to small talk with Mom so she doesn’t feel awkward as she moves so slow. It is effort for everyone. For Mom and for all of us. In a way. it is more effort to move slow than to move fast.
But, no matter how slow we are moving, we are moving. Sometimes it allows you to really pause and absorb the moment. Sometimes you are fighting everything within you not to just throw your hands up in frustration. You have to control your mind and mentally let the thoughts that come along with regular day to day life disappear. The impulses you have to hurry up and move fast, you have to let them go. And I was proud of myself because Saturday evening I was able to let my inner controller/planner go and just exist. Knowing eventually we would leave McDonald’s. No matter how long it took eventually we’d be outside. But most importantly was that Mom was doing this on her own.
Do you consider yourself a tortoise or a hare? Do you struggle with moving slower when you are used to moving faster? Do you ever allow your mind to mentally zone out of a situation to better deal it?