I believe it was The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman that first taught me that slowing down means something important is happening, that super powers are being unleashed and that attention must be paid. It is an unspoken pavlovian contract that we are powerless in front of. Go ahead and watch the opening scene of Chariots of Fire, or the moment when Patrick Swayze jumps off the stage at the end of Dirty Dancing, or almost any boxing movie. Slo-mo magnifies a moment, suspends it in time and we feel awe in one of its many facets.
Which leads me to the only next logical thought, how do I get more slo-mo in my life. I want the involuntary nervous system to evolve an automatic response to recognize significance and flip me into slo-mo at appropriate times during the day. This would, of course come with a fitting soundtrack to underline the moment. And, not to be too picky, but I don't need it to highlight obvious significance like weddings, births, graduations and taking cinnamon rolls out of the oven; I need it to mark the unrecognized significance of the everyday. For example
- Doing the dishes before you go to bed instead of leaving them until the morning.
- Seeing the dishes as you walk up stairs to bed, pausing, and deciding to continue walking upstairs.
- Getting out of the car for your third trip to the grocery store in the same day because you keep forgetting the milk.
- Changing that diaper and getting it into the diaper genie on the first throw.
- As it starts to rain, reaching in your bag, pulling out and engaging your umbrella with the seamless grace of a ninja.
- Cleaning up the last of your five year old's vomit on the threshold of the bathroom while holding back your own sympathy vomit.
- Doing the math, by long hand, to work out the when and how much of the month's bills so the statement at the end of the month is more than zero.
- Cracking the door of your teenager's door at night, after ignoring the dishes, to check on them still to make sure they are breathing, because, yesssss, they are always your babies.
- Finally caving and changing the toilet paper roll because everyone refuses to learn the unspoken lesson you have laid before them.