I could spend hours telling you all the different ways we Okies can say, “take it easy,” but I’d rather tell you why we’re so good at it.
Oklahomans have a long tradition of taking our time at things. We’re slow to anger, slow to get places, slow to make decisions, slow talkers, slow cookers, and slow drivers. That’s not hesitation, folks. That’s wisdom in practice. That’s above what y’all call “calm,” and it makes us a lot more relaxed and peaceful.
Oh, don’t let the mosey fool you. Okies are some of the most clever and resilient people to ever stare down a challenge. We’ve made things grow from the dust and withstood storms, floods, famines, and bombs. Okies are known for quirkiness and creativity too. We’re also called “Sooners,” but that’s more about being sneaky than it is about being fast. Sorry. That’s a story for another day.
We Okies have always known that the secret to getting anywhere is thinking “thangs” through first, and walkin’ slow to watch out for snakes, possums, tumbleweeds, and tornadoes. We’re fast to help literally anyone in need, and yet we never seemed burdened by an extra place setting at the table.
You have to remember the tortoise and the hare, and really embrace that wisdom. Trust in it. Slow down, and think a minute.
More importantly, slow down a minute. Just slow down.
Right now, it seems everything in life is an emergency. Everyone’s in a panic about everything from returning a text to eating a meal. The more we rush, the less we plan, and the less we plan, the more we see things fall apart and take more time. Everything becomes a 4-alarm fire.
Hang on, just a second. Whoah. Slow your roll, friend.
Stoppin’ to Smell the Flowers
One simple truth in life is that you can’t think or move fast or well if you’re not calm and rested. Stop panicking and trust this simple truth. Just take a minute to take a breath.
Take off yer hat. Put up yer boots. Smile at the neighbor from that old rockin’ chair, pet the dog, and watch the sunset – however you do.
Simply put, you have to actively relax. You ritualise your slow down. Do what makes you calm, but don’t keep believing that something stressful will calm you. Turn OFF the T.V., the mobile phone, the gaming console, and the computer.
Your mind needs a chance to wander with no stimulation. It needs to reset and recharge. No radiation, noise, or electric light will help. Go outside and watch the sky, or stay inside and watch the fire. Watch a candle burn. Do this for a good, long while.
It’s funny. There are folks who visit parts of Oklahoma and find it boring. There are places here that are meant to be less stimulating. Nobody put a mall there. You won’t find a lot of clubs. There isn’t anywhere to rent a scooter. Those places are for us. They’re our little secret. They’re why we win.
But even outside of those places you can find or make yourself a calm, easy place. It’s so important.
Makin’ A Plan
Once you’ve cleared your tired, old mind of clutter, you’re ready to reorganize those thoughts that used to race around in there, tripping over old problems and discarded ideas.
The best ideas you’ll ever have will only be able to appear when the attic of your head has been cleaned. Cobwebs block the vision, you know.
Think through all the things that worried you before. Which ones are really that important? Focus on one of those – just one. If it’s ready for a solution, one will come to you. If not, set it aside, and trust that you will know what to do with time and rest. Move on to the next one.
Don’t get up until you’ve thought things through. Don’t act on impulse. Wait for your moment. It can wait.
Watch The World Roll By in Endless Circles
Now, you’re ready to write down or type those to-do lists. Now, you’re ready and able to take action that is smartful and artful, not hurried and worried.
And – this is the best part – you’ll feel like you’re moseying through life on a calm, focused path while the rest of the world just whizzes around and around you, unsure where to go. When someone runs into you, you’ll have the energy to step out of the way and the calm to smile and gently tilt your hat before correcting course.
That’s what we Okies do. Come see us sometime, and we’ll show you what we mean. We have time.