No dilly-dallying. No meandering. Wasting time is a sin. We don’t allow ourselves to transition slowly from one event to the next anymore. We move swiftly and efficiently from point A to point B.
Do Introverts and Extroverts Transition Differently?
We learn to keep pace with the fastest movers in our community but I don’t believe that is the natural inclination for everyone. As an introvert, my first instinct is to take a few moments to close out the last experience before dipping my toe into the next. Introverts prefer to observe a new situation for a while before softly joining in.
Extroverts do you like a pause between events or would you rather jump right in? Would you answer the same if time/a tight schedule was not a factor?
Transition Time in Schools
The pressure to accomplish much and relax little is instilled in us early. A young kindergarten teacher once told me my child does not transition well. Meaning my child is still finishing up the last activity when the other kids have moved on to the next. I noted the packed all-day kindergarten schedule. A zillion turn-on-a-dime transitions per day. No space to let your mind drift or linger in curiosity. I pictured my child spinning around like a birthday party-attendee before they swat at a piñata. We worked on transition skills so they could keep up but I mostly wanted to make the school-day more spacious and conducive to deep learning.
A Benefit of Commuting
One of my favorite gentle transitions was taking the train to and from work in Chicago. If all went as it should, which honestly most of the time it did, I would sit in the sunlight streaming through the filmy windows and people-watch, daydream or cat-nap. On the way into work, I slowly warmed up for my professional performance – put my game face on. At night, the ride allowed the edginess of Type A co-workers and impossible deadlines slip off me and leak out the automatic doors. I often treated myself to a leisurely walk home from the train stop as well. If the aroma of roasted nuts begged me to stop into Chicago Nut Company, I succumbed. If a street musician played a particularly haunting sax solo, I stopped to listen.
Back then commuting wasn’t about catching up on phone calls. It was about catching up with myself.
Gateway to Writing and Creativity
I transition into writing as well. I often spend 5-10 minutes meditating – checking in to see what images and feelings arise- meandering through my soul. Afterwards I light a candle, turn on the lava lamp and read poetry or lyrical fiction. This routine creates a calm mind-set perfect for making word associations. Jonathon Fields in his book Uncertainty calls such rituals certainty anchors which he defines as a routine offering connection with the divine or a like-minded community. Whatever you call it, it works. I’ve tried sitting at my laptop without free mind time and my thoughts come out chopped and disconnected. Bleh. Gently transitioning from daily tasks (email, meal preparation, laundry, phone calls) to a creative state is not only a pleasing process but productive too.
Transitions as Quality Time
My kids love to visit me in my writing studio after school. I am usually there right up until the bus drops them off. The squeal of bus brakes dissipates, the back door slams and I hear feet clomping toward my corner retreat. Hi Mom! They enter and plop down in the soft and sagging upholstered chair or cop-a-squat on the cushy shag carpet. Music seeps from my laptop speakers, candles burn and a lava lamp bubbles and glows. High and low points of the day tumble out of the kids’ mouths. They inquire about my status and what I did all day. After a few minutes, I shut down my Mac, turn off the lamp and blow out candles. We head to the kitchen for a snack. We help each other transition from our day lives into pre-evening activities. It’s wonderful.
May you honor your spirit by slowing down and easing into life today.
How would you feel if you could ease into interactions rather than rushing in with the last activity still clinging to you? Tell me about a lovely transition time you experience regularly.
If you liked this post on dilly-dallying you may also enjoy:
Poky Puppies and Hares with ADD (space2live)