As I wrote about last week, I have been trying to slow down, to stop and enjoy all the things that I have been missing as I speed through my days. So, I decided to embark on a little adventure and report on my progress on each of the ideas I talked about, along with what I have learned along the way, possibly adding some other ideas and tips I get along the way.
I started the week out strongly and seemed to have really gotten used to following the first of my slow goals, Take time to relax every day! And, as I mentioned I was going to do, I had a lovely lunch with a friend, and although we might have talked about possible work projects, we focused more on getting to know each other and we did manage to stick to our pact about no work during lunch.
During the first part of the week, I also stopped to take breaks from my work, going out to the garden or the park to breathe and appreciate the beauty surrounding me.
However, come day four, I stumbled badly. Since it is week two I was going to add Goal #2 to my repertoire: Try to only focus on one thing and only do one thing at a time.
I really failed at this one. And, it is because I have taken on too much and often there are multiple things to do at one time or one place. For example, I love my local farmers’ market, I have friends there, I buy food there; it’s a great community place. I am a volunteer there, albeit not a regular one, but I do the newsletter, which I am currently working on.
I also teach senior gardening classes at my local hospital, something I also love very much. And, since I always try to save trips and time, I figured I would buy my herb seedlings for my classes from my favorite vendor at the farmer’s market. So, I found myself rushing to get photos, interviews with farmers, plants, and my own shopping done, all before the market ended.
Instead of bringing me the enjoyment it usually does, being there completely stressed me out and led me to realize just how much of a multi-tasker I have become. It’s almost like I am the “Little Engine That Could,” that once I get going and speed up, I just can’t seem to apply the brakes.
As I try to remember to slow down, I keep realizing the root of my constant feeling of rushing from thing to thing is that I simply over commit and am involved in too many things. For so long I have prided myself on being able to juggle many things at once, I can’t stop doing it.
So, while it was not one of my original slow goals, “Do Less” is certainly now at the top of my list, and seems to be the one that will make the biggest impact on whether I can meet any of the other goals I have set for myself.
I am sure to other people, the answer is obvious: “just stop doing so much.” But this is an issue I have struggled with for a long time. It is such a part of who I am, that I am trying to figure out where to start.
And, I think sharing my own struggle with this so publicly might just be the thing that finally gets me to make the change. For those of you who have struggled and overcome, I know that I and other Care2 members would love to hear how you did it.
I will report next week on how my progress is coming, wish me luck!