Time To Slow Down
I actually wrote this blog several years ago, as you can see, from the beginning statements, but I decided to repost it today. Why? Because it is the perfect time of year to talk about slowing down. I know it seems crazy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays about us, but that is exactly the reason why. This time of year does not have to be more hectic or frenetic than any other time. It is all about choices. You can choose to be a part of the hustle and bustle or not. You can choose which events are a priority or not. You can choose which people are important to spend time with and not. You can choose to slow down and enjoy the moment or not. It is all up to you. But, I promise you, if you choose to slow down you will enjoy it more, appreciate it more and put your time where it matters instead of people pleasing everyone else. Below, you will find an older, but timely blog. I will talk about having foot surgery and how it slowed me down. I had my surgery the week before Thanksgiving, so it is indeed timely. I was on crutches for black Friday! I hope you enjoy this story and reflect on how you can slow down instead of rev up this holiday season. And as always, Love to all.
Learning How to Slow Down
As many of you know, I had foot surgery a little over two weeks ago. I’ll admit that my biggest apprehension about the surgery had nothing to do with the surgery itself; It was about slowing down. I am by nature a “do-er.” I love “doing.” It fulfills me. It feels good. It brings me satisfaction. I love the joy of being productive. It is one of the reasons that yoga is so beneficial to me: Because it forces me to be present and focused. It forces me to slow down. However, even yoga is a form of doing. It’s a focused activity and I get to check it off my list of things to do in a day. But, over these last 2 weeks or so, I could not do yoga. I was too tired and uncomfortable to really work or read or even meditate, at times. I thought this would be my worst nightmare. I was afraid that with all this “leisure” time on my hands I might become restless, anxious or depressed.
To my surprise, I have enjoyed my 2 weeks off. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I did not feel guilty for NOT doing. I did not feel time pressured to get things done and I did not feel obligated to do ANYTHING; anything, but taking care of myself, that is. This is no small miracle for me. I spend a large part of my days trying to accomplish more than is possible in a 24 hour cycle with young children and running a small business. Instead, I enjoyed actually enjoyed my time off to recuperate. I discovered the joy of games again. I have not enjoyed games in years. I played Scrabble with my mom. I discovered new apps on my phone. I slept. I watched TV (which I almost never do). I allowed others to take on the household duties. I actually allowed myself to be taken care of and, most importantly, I allowed myself to make my healing my priority. I even found the strength to ask for help (at least some of the time J ) . It felt great.
In my work with others and even in my personal relationships, I talk to people all the time about self-care, enjoying the moment and the need for rest and recovery. But now, I was truly forced to take a dose of my own medicine. I hope that next time it won’t take a surgery for me to slow down and in fact, I will make a conscious choice for that not to be the case. I have a friend that for years would spend her Sundays alone and in silence. She would meditate, do yoga, read, nap, but she would take the time to limit her sensory input and to rejuvenate before heading into the week. Now, I don’t see that as an option with two kids, but it’s a nice idea. Maybe there are hours or moments in a week that could be dedicated to silence and rejuvenation?
I am grateful for my time off. I am grateful for the new awareness, insights and lessons it has delivered. I am grateful to be slowly easing back into my life and I am grateful for all those that are helping me heal.
I hope each of you will ask yourself today, “Where in my life do I need to slow down and what action step can I take today?”
P.S. It’s nice to be back