Who has time to linger when you barely have time to keep up with all of life’s responsibilities?

But if you wish to live life with joy and FLOW, like I do, to linger is part of the process.

What Does it Mean to Linger?

  • To remain in a place as if from a reluctance to leave
  • To dwell in thought or enjoyment
  • To be tardy in action.

The word linger itself takes on a feeling of being luxurious. What if instead of rushing off after seeing a movie or play that moved you, you sat in your seat while the credits rolled, or the traffic died down?

What if instead of gulping down lunch at your desk, you went outside if it was a nice day, and lingered, simply looking up at the sky.

Don’t Confuse Linger and Loiter

When I thought of this word linger, I also thought of the word loiter. That’s because lingering seems decadent or unproductive. But to loiter means:

  • To linger aimlessly or about a place
  • To move in a slow, idle manner
  • Not useful, not doing useful work, lazy.

To linger is intentional. To loiter is not.

To Linger Means to Slow Down So You Don’t Miss Out

Our culture promotes the need for speed. There are fast passes to things, fast food, and fast checkout options. If you are in business, if you aren’t fast enough on what consumers demand, you’ll be out of business.

Speed is good. But like everything, there needs to be a balance between what requires speed and what requires lingering.

There is a term now called FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. It’s being constantly connected through mobile devices whether it’s by text, email, or social media. But the irony in this constant connection is missing out on the here and now, what is right in front of us. 

What Will You Miss If You Don’t Linger?

I love this poem by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Mary Oliver. It was on her Facebook Page and from her book Blue Horses called Such Silence:

I sat on the bench waiting for something.

An angel, perhaps.

Or dancers with the legs of goats.

No, I didn’t see either.

But only, I think, because I didn’t stay long enough.

What are areas in your life where you have lingered, or are now inspired to linger? I’d love for you to share by leaving a comment below. Linger here for a while and read more ways to have joy and FLOW in your life and subscribe to the Four Steps to FLOW below.


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