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Slow down and frolic

My coworker teases me because I am slow. I have a shorter gait than she does. I rarely attempt to walk fast enough to try to keep up. It is a little joke between us.

Today as I was walking in to work, one of our maintenance men blew past me down the hall. Then he paused, backed up, and walked beside me. He said “I really need to learn to slow down.” I jokingly told him, “They usually tell me to speed up.” He walked the remainder of the way with me and turned off to his work space.

Just reflecting on that brief conversation, I thought about how often we get caught up in the rat race of life. We spend so much time trying to keep up with others. We rush from one thing to the next with very little margin built in, let alone free time. So many people I talk to say that they feel guilty if they take some time to just relax and do nothing.


I had a wise professor in my undergraduate Social Work program. She taught us the importance of taking time to enjoy the now. We would take time in the midst of a busy, stressful, and chaotic week to frolic.

Merriam Webster online dictionary defines frolic as a verb (Entry 2 of 3)

1: to amuse oneself : make merry

2: to play and run about happily : ROMP

Yes, there were probably times, as students that we took advantage of her encouragement of frolicking. We often declared the need to be outside for our class; even if we were not running around, it did make us merry. I now realize she was engaging us in self-care. It was an important lesson, that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time.

Each person’s frolic may look different. I am a joyful person, but I am not sure people would call me merry. I am not one to run and play a lot. My play looks much different than how most people play. What amuses me doesn’t generally amuse others. Its okay, I am content to live at a pace that doesn’t match others.

As someone in a helping profession, self care is important. We all have a different pace, things that give us energy and things that drain us. We have to access that regularly and work to make adjustments in our lives that take into account our pace. We have to take time to slow down and enjoy where we are in life. We have to take time to slow down and frolic.

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