Slowing Things Down in a Smart Way

yellow and black no smoking sign

Did you see my Featured Image? I’m throwing it here in the post in case you didn’t. I wish I had the rights to edit it so it says: Slow down for life….

yellow and black no smoking sign
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

When I cut back work hours I was determined to spend that extra time getting healthier. Mentally and physically. Exercise more, eat better, and maybe pick up a craft or art hobby to get myself away from screens.

I am exercising a bit more. My diet was pretty decent to begin with, and it hasn’t gone to horribly amiss. But I found out I’m not as great at crafts or art as I remember or as I thought I could be. Frankly, I’m not currently interested (subject to change in my future, but not for now).

Even though it means I’m back in the screens, I thought maybe I might dip my toes into the writing water again. And I shared this with a good friend. After all, I do love blogging. But I haven’t been doing much of that lately, either.

Somehow my life seems to have picked up pace again. Mostly due to factors I can’t really change. It seems like a lot of my family and friends are going through some big life adjustments right now: housing issues, health issues, job issues, etc. Some of it is good, and a lot of it is not. It’s stressful.

Yesterday when my friend asked me how my writing was going, I responded:

Writing? I’m super blocked. I know it’s stress making me very moody, but I get really exhausted when I think of writing about the tough stuff, feel trivial when I go light, and feel angry having to have any feels about anything that isn’t necessary right now.

So I’m reading.

A friend recommended a really great book I read Friday. It’s religious, but the message goes just as well for those who are not religious. The book really has me thinking. It’s called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World.

I didn’t buy it. I got an audio copy from my library (and have to confess I listened to it on double time, which is EXACTLY what this book is NOT about. Still, I have no regrets 😉 ).

I listened to the book while on a walk in the woods. Loved it enough that I spent a couple hours after I came home doing projects that would allow me to listen while I performed other tasks.

A part of the book was on multitasking, and clearly I have a long way to go on that one.

It got me thinking about when I was most recently happiest. While the walks in the woods are pretty fantastic, and I kinda really enjoyed a date day with Chris within the past week, a real treat was a recent camping trip Chris and I went on. It was two nights and a full day on the beach. We woke up when we did, and went to bed when we felt like it.

There were no plans to meet anyone, and I didn’t have to get concerned about finding hotspots for work since it was on my weekend. We even went for a six-mile walk and strolled leisurely. Time just didn’t matter. I sat in a chair and read a real book made of paper. Yes, it hurt my hands to hold, but it was a one off for a small period of time and totally worth it.

We did have our phones on since we knew some people in the world might need to call. But for the most part we had told our close friends and family we might read messages but were not planning to respond to anything until we came home. So there was no pressure.

That happy time worked so brilliantly that we did receive life-changing news from two totally different loved ones, and some of that news was hard, but we had the mental bandwidth to absorb and cope thanks to the scenery and pace we had set for ourselves during the days on the beach.

I’ll put pics and stuff in my next blog post. It will be very pleasant to relive those days.

One of the things that really stood out to me from the book was the author addressing how Jesus was mentioned in the Bible. He was a pretty laid-back dude. Didn’t hurry for much of anything. When he found out his really close friend was dying, he actually stayed where he was for another couple of days.

I mean, yeah, he did kinda have the God factor and probably knew the outcome of that situation, but still. I’m literally losing sleep desperate for the next news from several people. Just to feel like there is some sense of control.

As if.

It’s okay. You can laugh at me.

Soooo, I’m self-analyzing thanks to this book (and sessions with a life coach and job coach). And I’m going to work really hard on letting go of the things I really can’t change. Give myself the freedom to not frantically research and analyze and write then wait obsessively for phone calls with incoming news that will change the game. But also to embrace the good moments even in tough times. And feel free to research and analyze and write about them.

I hope I can. Stress over things we cannot change is really just quite stupid. And all it really might take to overcome that is a bit of slowing down.

11 responses to “Slowing Things Down in a Smart Way”

  1. Much of your post hit home. I had plans for retirement that now just aren’t right. I’m trying to find the happy medium! Love the image!

    • Thanks. I love the image, too. Got it from pexels 🙂 – I’ve been reading your journeys and relate to you as well, even though I’m not retired. It will be interesting seeing where both of us are in a year. Sometimes I feel like I’m 16 again — trying to figure out who I am.

  2. The “letting go of things we can’t change” is a biggie! Many of us are so used to wanting to exercise control over things, so it’s hard to change!

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