My family has traditionally traveled a couple times a year to be with my mother’s family, just north of Pittsburgh. Our gathering place was originally my grandparents’ home: several acres of magnificent rural land that is still so vivid to me now. My mother had four siblings, and in addition to my own four siblings and me, one of my aunts also had five kids who were close to us in age. These cousins have often felt like a second set of siblings. We all ran amok all over that land, but my main partners-in-crime were Shane and an older female cousin ours. Shane was never afraid to get dirty or wet, and Samara and I would at least follow, if not embrace, his lead.
“In the here-and-now, I vote—but always with a torn heart. I have not yet met a candidate or a political proposal that embodies all that I dream for…” -Steve Garber in “Making Peace with Proximate Justice”
My undergraduate degree is in political science, and I once imagined making a life for myself in Washington, D.C. During those years — thanks to a last-minute roommate gift and generous hospitality from a high school friend — I even attended a presidential inauguration. So it may come as a surprise that I haven’t voted in the past two presidential elections.
I recently wrote about how one of my hopes for 2015 is that I will move slower through life. You know, be less busy and more present to relationships and how I feel. I’ve learned that I have several behavioral patterns that tip me off that I am moving too quickly. Most of these things only take a couple minutes, and yet, I neglect them or by doing whatever it is I am neglecting myself. Which means now I get to practice paying attention to these things and intentionally going against the grain of my instinct in order to slow myself down. Maybe you can relate: