The power of the pause


How can taking a pause improve us in a fast-paced world?

Before I share my answer, let me share my recent week.

On one of my recent visits with our city departments, I helped vacuum leaves with the Department of Public Works.

Remember to rake leaves to the curb to be collected the day after your regular trash day. Keep in mind the pile can’t contain large sticks or other debris. Also remember the leaf machine requires some space to operate. Don’t place your piles too close to vehicles or other items that might get in the way of collection.

Not long ago, I met with a community leader who was working on his organization’s goals for 2021. He shared areas he believed would be worked on in the upcoming year and then asked if any aligned with my items for ‘21.

He wasn’t seeking my approval or even to persuade me to adopt their goals. Instead, he wanted to see if we could help accent one another for the future of Seymour.

We exchanged ideas, and I believe we will be able to continue progress with some introductions and even some mutual projects for next year. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and see how we can swim together in the same stream instead of having to shift back and forth from various tides created, oftentimes by caring individuals who may not realize where someone else is on a topic or that it may not be the ideal time to implement that piece of the puzzle.

Congratulations to the winner of the presidential election ____________. Well, at the time of penning this column, it was still up in the air as to who won. I imagine it will be decided by the time this is printed.

What I hope all Americans remember, though, is that no matter who wins that it will not be as doom and gloom as some predict and that it will not be all puppies and sunshine like others have predicted. For over 200 years, America has survived, and I can’t imagine that it won’t for several hundred more.

Back to that pause from the opening of this week’s column. For me, I think of a couple of different pieces when I encourage us all to pause.

First, I think we need to work on the art of deciding to pause before we answer that text, email, social media comment and sometimes that question in person. It is often easy for us to snap back a response without thinking. Usually, that quick response is no problem, but sometimes, we respond with an answer that we shouldn’t have. On a positive note, we are all human and hopefully learn from our moments of not pausing.

The next pause I think of is that of remembering to pause in our lives. Resetting with a pause should not be overlooked, as it often leads to more productive moments later.

When I started my time in city government, I would often watch social media looking for a problem to help solve. It felt good to be in the mix of many different areas. Years later, I have discovered I don’t always have time to look for a problem to solve because as mayor, they find me.

Please understand when I don’t respond to being tagged in a post or a comment, it isn’t that I am ignoring you. Oftentimes, it is because I haven’t seen it with meetings, emails and voicemails pulling me in different directions.

I want to close with a Mark Twain quote, “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

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