The Drive-By

Oh, the irony.  As the owner of a business that encourages folks to slow down and enjoy the intellectual and emotional benefits of crafting, I am rarely slow.  I talk fast, I sew fast, I eat fast..I would even sleep fast if I knew how.  It has been this way for most of my adult life so I cannot blame it on the life of an entrepreneur.   And I am self-aware enough now to know that it is not that my computer is too slow....it's me.  I wanted to see Graceland once when in Memphis, and took my souvenir photo from the sunroof of our moving vehicle.  But this weekend I experienced something different.

My husband and I decided to take the kids to the Brookfield Zoo.  A normal trip for me anywhere for tourism usually involves methodically mapping out the highlights and then planning the most efficient route through.  (If you have ever been to Disneyland with me and seen my approach to leveraging the FastPass queue system, you know what I mean.)  For whatever reason (maybe some recent acupuncture), I just didn't feel like controlling the visit this way.  We strolled in leisurely, took in a few sights, rode the entire tram ride, took in more sights.  And I actually read the informational signs posted for my education.   As the "good parent" that I like to consider myself, I have always encouraged my children to read the signs, aloud or to themselves.  But admittedly I would sometimes use this technique just to check-in with my child's reading progress-  Can they read that word?  Do they use the phonetic hints to figure it out or is this word really now a part of their vocabulary?  But, I never read the signs.  Really.  Never.  (I am sorry Zoological Societies of the world.)  This time I did, and I started to notice subtleties in this zoo's approach to animal habitats.  Very different from "zebras-check, giraffes-check, elephants-check."   Hmmmm, note to self.
On another recent trip to the zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo this time), I was impressed how a friend of mine would share interesting facts about the animals that we had just viewed.  She had read the signs!  And it was interesting stuff.  Now if she was just sharing it with me to gently hint to me that I needed to slow down....I wouldn't have detected because I was off to the next habitat.  But maybe now I'm starting to get it.
You have probably noticed before how different a place is when you walk through it rather than drive through it.  And I know that it's true for our lives as well.  (There are lots of handmade crafts, some better than others, that tout the same.)  I don't know why this day was different, but it was.  And it was another good reminder.   Even the root-beer float tasted better.