Today, our 4-year-old thanked me for making him walk home from kindergarten: “When we drive home, we’re so fast. I don’t want to be fast.” He’s also always the last person to finish when the family eats together – just as I was, and my father before me. I guess being slow runs in our family.
I eat slowly. When time is short, I prefer not eating at all to having to hurry. I move slowly: Walking is way better than driving, or even riding a bike. If I cannot fully enjoy the moment, I’d rather skip it.
That’s why Derek Sivers’ “I’m a very slow thinker” resonated so deeply with me. He writes: “I’m a disappointing person to try to debate or attack. I just have nothing to say in the moment, except maybe, 'Good point.' Then a few days later, after thinking about it a lot, I have a response.”
I’m a slow thinker myself: I’m quick with questions and ideas, but slow to answer, decide, or judge. (What do you call the opposite of “jumping to a conclusion”?) Being fully aware of the breadth of possible explanations – and of everyone’s point of view (the burden of being empathic) – I know I need time to think things through.
Of course, sometimes I’m simply slow because I’m daydreaming, with my head in the clouds. (Understandably, my wife often hates all that slowness.)
The above probably makes sense to you, but I guess it sounds weird if I say I’m even slow to feel, to build up emotion. Of course I don’t feel nothing: I immediately sense excitement or unease. But it takes a while for me to develop or discover my true feelings, to find out how happy or upset I really am.
Everybody’s normal till you get to know them, I suppose :)