Literary Mama had a free-writing prompt today asking, “Consider how you make space and time for stillness. How do you slow down?” I decided to free write today, to answer that question for myself.
Home-made pizza is what makes me slow down. It is a ridiculously slow process for something I can get other people to bring to me, hot and ready, for a really nominal fee. I live in such a busy suburb of Chicago I can even get deep dish pizza delivered within the half hour. But scheduling in homemade pizza as a dinner is my way of saying to myself, “We are not bound by deadlines today, we are not going to try to make, eat and clean up from dinner in thirty minutes so we can rush off to do God knows what else that seems more important than just relaxing.” It takes time to knead the dough, to let it rise, to roll it out, to get everyone’s apron on and off, to let everyone put their own toppings on, to take pictures of the pizzas before they cook (always) to clean up the four cookie sheets and one glass bowl we need to use, to wipe down the flour-covered counter and floor and to let the piping hot pizzas cool off enough to eat. We eat on a blanket in front of the TV. It is a signal. We do not need to rush every moment of our lives. We have a luxury of time we either don’t admit we have over fears of looking too privileged, or don’t use because we fear we’ll be the only ones. This is a signal that the world doesn’t need to swirl around us, that pausing and taking unnecessary time together is necessary.