Today's piece was inspired by a conversation with an eight-year-old girl who has a 132 I.Q. This amazing youngster had already read 500 books, had memorized 30 different types of sharks and knew every possible fact about her favorite animal, the cheetah. At the time, I had no cheetah art in my portfolio, much to her disappointment. But I promised to let the cheetah inspire me to paint, and so he has.
When I was a young girl, the speed of the cheetah fascinated me. I wanted to be fast! And perhaps I am, just not when it comes to running. But most other things in my life, I can (and do) get done quickly. I read fast, I clean fast, I balance the checkbook fast. I decide quickly. I tackle projects quickly. And I often talk fast, too.
But now that I am an old girl, the cheetah has a different meaning. These big cats don't move quickly all the time. Just when they need to. And only after a lot of observing and resting. They choose when to use their speed, because they understand there isn't an infinite supply.
In the past few years, I've begun to embrace the measured speed philosophy of this exotic big cat. Meals are leisurely now. Afternoon pauses to just sit and think are part of the routine. A day a week to slow down to a crawl is embraced. Conversations are savored, not rushed. Don't get me wrong, I still do a lot of things fast. But this other side of cheetah spirit is delightfully blissful. Maybe you can teach an old cat new tricks?