There are things you ought to do quickly: running races and putting out fires come to mind.
But most things are better done slowly and with full presence: eating, visiting with friends and family, petting your dog, folding laundry, washing dishes, drawing scary rabbits…these daily activities are what make up the vast portion of your life.
I shared my drawing of llamas today with my fifth graders.
I got a rousing, “Not bad!”
For some reason, they loved yesterday’s 5 minute timed writing prompt:
“Describe how to drive your teacher crazy.”
Each morning, I open my drawing book, 20 Ways to Draw Everything. I make myself draw whatever is in front of me. I am always tempted to draw the easiest figures. I might start with the easiest, but I know that I will not get better if I stick to the simple ones. My initial goal was to draw all 20, but because I have only 45 minutes to draw before I go to work, I choose about six: a few easy, a few difficult.
Student Council member: “We didn’t get out Student Council t-shirts in time for Club Picture Day?”
Me: “No, they haven’t arrived.”
StuCo member: “Wow. That’s a problem. That’s a real issue.”
Me: “No, it’s not. We’ll get them when we get them. We will take our pictures wearing what we’re wearing and smile. It is what it is.”
At first blush, this sounds like a negative and cold response. But diving deeper, you can see that “It is what it is” is actually a great way to deflect negativity. Why stew about something that we cannot help? Why feel bad and see “no t-shirts” as a problem? There is no solution except to accept it, happily.
This doesn’t apply to areas where there might be a solution of course. I am a proponent of seeking creative solutions to any and all problems. But in cases where there is nothing to be done, why fret?