Last weekend I had an a -ha. I realized I sometimes have an unwanted sense of “rushing” within and around me. Sometimes to the point of getting dizzy. Seriously.
It all came to a head last week when I tried to mesh together a series of appointments and events and parties and time for work and time for my dog’s exercise and hosting an out of town friend at my home… you get it.
What I realized was that within all this activity and rushing…. I was missing out on actually living.
One day in particular, I was meeting a neighbor at an event she invited me to a few blocks away. The event started at 10am. I told her I’d arrive at 9:45. As I raced out my door at 9:48 making excuses for myself as I frantically pushed the elevator button. “It will be fine… I’ll be there by 9:53 and the event doesn’t start until 10am.” As my blood pressure rises and anxiety creeps in I begin to walk faster. As I race across the street and fly through the door of the venue, I’m looking left and right for where to go. I see a sign… I race upward taking two steps at a time… and feel a sense of relief as I see numerous other people around me in line. “See… it’s FINE. You aren’t the last one here.” Then I see my neighbor, waiting, looking at her watch, finally seeing me with a slight look of impatience. As we sit down, I say to her “I’m so sorry. I hope you were relaxing here in your seat and not standing at the entrance waiting for me for ten minutes?” As I wait for her to make me feel better, she instead says, “Yes, I was.”
It’s interesting…being late for the first appointment or call of the day creates a ripple effect for the next 12 hours. In fact, I was late AGAIN for the same friend that evening. Only a few minutes, but I realized this sense of rushing was not only annoying to those I care about, but also creating unnecessary chaos in my day. In fact, the chaos was concocted by one and only one person… me!
So I made a commitment that evening. I said to my neighbor, “I am making a New Year’s resolution but beginning today. I choose to no longer rush!” She gave me an approving nod. Enough said!
Making a conscious decision to slow down is a wonderful act of self-care. When you give yourself a structure throughout the day that allows for breathing room, you are able to be present. Soon, you aren’t rushing through your meals, through conversations with one another, or through your work. In fact, choosing to no longer rush can create a sacredness to your life. It’s as if the entire day becomes a ritual of being in the moment, with the person in front of us, and paying attention on purpose.
So far, it’s been pretty great. The decision I made also encouraged me to prioritize with greater intention. For example, is it really necessary to empty the dishwasher before you leave for the appointment? Can the towels wait to be folded? Isn’t it okay to wait until later to return a phone call?
Treasure your time this weekend… and don’t rush! 🙂