No hurry

Posted in Figuratively Speaking at 7:29 am by Marion


Opening my beloved Roget’s International Thesaurus 6th edition this morning, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. All week I’ve looked forward to the moment when I could look up a word that came to mind as I was avoiding something, probably a deadline.



What a word! As a child, how often did I hear it! You need to get dressed and go! Stop lollygagging!

That word came to represent the Promised Land, where I could amble around dreaming, without a commitment, free to explore the world. I imagine my parents and teachers saw it differently … trying to figure out how to get their slowpoke daughter moving

Lollygag is an informal term that means to spend time aimlessly. It is of unknown origin from the 19th century.

Mr. Roget has some other terms to describe wandering around without a purpose. Shuffle, stagger, totter, toddle, saunter, stroll, amble.

My favorites are dawdle, tarry, dally. If I had to choose, my top choice would be mosey.

Why rush, when you can mosey? Actually, this term originally meant “to go away quickly.” Now, it is an intransitive verb that means to walk or move in a leisurely manner. (An intransitive verb — What a joy to find one!)

For the British, it came also be a noun meaning a leisurely walk or drive.

Now I’m not advocating laziness, procrastination or cultivation of boredom. “An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop,” they say, and I’m inclined to agree.

Yet these words of lingering conjure a life lived in the moment … dreaming of projects, good works, stories to write … hiking with your own thoughts, observing trees, moss and wildflowers, thinking about what a gift we have with each breath.

It also evokes intention in every act, even when there’s a deadline.

Of course, there are times when we have to get a move on, and it’s no good to dilly-dally. Yet even punctuality can be mindful, as the Buddhists might say. Moving without haste and with compassionate intent.

Image by Heavy Petal

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