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Take Life at a Slower Pace: Advice from a Sloth 🐾

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Advice from a Sloth from The Whine Bar by Ally Brown CPC

My inspiration for the animal who will serve as our teacher each week comes from many different places. Sometimes the animal comes first. Sometimes the lesson comes first. Today, however, I got slapped right in the face with the lesson and the animal simultaneously.

You may have noticed that this post came out a bit later than I normally put it up. That is because today I am a sloth. Not by choice, at least at first, but a sloth nonetheless. You see, today, I had to learn to accept and embrace things taking much longer than I would have liked.

Here’s what happened. . .

Today’s animal was going to be a cute little racoon. And then I woke up this morning.

As many of you know, my husband and I have five cats who we affectionately refer to as The Furry Five. One of them has a huge bladder stone and needs surgery, which will be taking place on Monday. So, after a miserable night’s sleep consisting of feline based worry and a healthy smattering of hot flashes (thank you menopause) my morning began.

On my agenda:

  • A raccoon post

  • Bringing one of my two vacuums that broke this week to the repair shop

  • Buying a small vacuum to make it through a week of five cats shedding until I get my hopefully repaired Oreck back

  • Turning in my old cell phone which I had to spend the past two days replacing because it spontaneously turned into a paperweight

  • Going to an appointment and running errands that desperately need to be done and that I have not been able to do as I have been spending the better part of the last 8 weeks editing my book 24/7.

And then I got a message that I needed to review and approve my 306-page word document manuscript for layout ASAP.

And then I got a message that I needed to send droves of information to my cover designer ASAP.

Time to push everything back that I was able to. I had to, I wanted to, do what I needed to for my book.

And then nothing went as I needed it to. So, as I was sitting in traffic, without my errands done, trying to get home to put together my If Animals Could Talk starring a Racoon post, my blood was boiling. I was getting to the point where I was going to be that person, about to share my opinions in relation to the sub-par driving skills of my fellow traffic sitters, loudly, in a not-so-pleasant tone, through closed car windows.

And then I laughed.

What was the point? What would that accomplish? It would not cause the cars to move any faster. It would not get me to my computer any faster. It would not get my story to you any faster. It would not get my errands done. It would not cure my cat's bladder stone. It was, however, causing another hot flash. Yay! Not.

As I told myself to slow down and take a deep breath I thought of the sloth, and I wondered why he moves so slowly.

It turns out that a sloth's diet is nutritionally poor in nutrients as it is leaf based and very low in calories. Therefore they have evolved to have an extremely slow metabolic rate to cope with their low-calorie intake. Part of this evolution in diet from its ancestors is due to living in only tropical climates. Sloths do not need to expend their energy, keeping their organs warm, so they don’t. These mammals have adapted to living more like cold-blooded reptiles such as lizards. Sloths will bask in the sun at the top of the tree canopy to warm their bodies, and then they will use the shade of the canopy to cool them when needed. They also use the height of the trees to avoid their predators, like the jaguar. They have everything they need in the trees, so they become one with the trees.

The sloths have a fur the enables algae and fungi to grow on it. This relationship protects the sloth as the green helps to camouflage it in the forest, and the sloth even may get some protein.

The leaf diet of the sloth causes her to produce only a minute amount of milk to nurse her young. Therefore, the sloth babies constantly need to suckle so that they can get every drop of milk as it is produced.

The slowest mammal on the planet has found a way to survive, and thrive in a challenging environment. While we are exhausted trying to obtain success, they have accomplished it by just slowing down.

I was about to lose my cool in a line of traffic, they spend their days eating what they like, digesting their food and basking in the sun.

Not that I want to live in a tree canopy covered in algae, but I think I can slow it down a bit.

The world will not come to an end if my post gets out a few hours late.

The world will not come to an end if I have to order take out instead of getting groceries.

Try following the advice of our Xenarthra friends, and take the time to slow down, even just a bit. I am happier when I take things a bit slower. I definitely enjoy myself more. Maybe you will too.

PS- Tune in next Friday as Racoon makes his triumphant return


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