My Late Billy Cat, 1994 to 2013
“Slow down, Maryanne.”
That’s all I used to hear from my husband, Dennis. I used to do everything fast. (I still do if I’m not careful). I write fast, I type fast (92 wpm), I’m the queen of multi-task. But in my later years, I’ve come to realize how great life is when you slow down a bit. When you take a break, stop and smell the roses, look outside the window at the birds in the feeder. That sort of thing.
But what made me realize this? My cat Billy.
Dennis and I nicknamed Billy, “The Forrest Gump of Cats” because he was a simple cat who seemed to have deep thoughts in his tiny little head. Sure, once in a blue moon Billy Cat would scatter around the room like he had an agenda, but most of the time he was just sitting or lying around, sometimes with his tongue hanging out of his mouth (as goofy cats often do) just taking it easy.
I paid more attention to Billy in his later years, as I knew he wasn’t going to be around much longer. I learned from him, how to take a deep breath and stop and smell the roses. I used to work like a fiend behind my computer, non-stop. I still do if I don’t catch myself and force myself to stop. But now, most of the time, I embrace my breaks. I love to slowly drink a glass of flavored water, or even stop the world for a cup of tea. Or not eat my lunch while I’m working.
Then it dawned on me … Even though I do things fast, I was always a bit of a late bloomer. I didn’t have my first article published until I was 32. My business at 45. Marriage at 48. And my first book at 50. Do you see a pattern? (Not to mention, the best girlfriends I have are the ones I met in my 40s and 50s).
The truth is, when you take your time with precious things in life, they tend to not only last, but be the best things life has to offer. My marriage is amazing. It’s been a blessing to make a living as a writer and to have my own business book editing and as a public speaker. And all this great stuff happened to me because I never rushed into anything. I took my time with it — and believed in it.
When something is nourished, rather than rushed, it turns into something very special and dear that will be close to your heart for a lifetime.
Now at 51, I’m starting my second business. While I can go full force — promoting all over social media and having parties left and right — I prefer to take it slow. Because it’s yet another thing I love and believe in and I want to have this business around until I die. I want don’t want to just enjoy the successes of my second business, but all stages: the beginning, the growth, the spiritual aspect of it and all the amazing people the business brings into my life along the way.
Because “slow” is the most beautiful gift from God and the universe that many people tend to over look.