It’s time. Time to get off that sofa bearing your imprint from those holiday hours with the remote. Time to put away the holly mugs, follow up on that FedX gift that never arrived, and lose your peppermint and peanut brittle poundage.
My silent admonition to get crackin’ runs a vague jingle of anxious energy through my body. I spot the stack of glittered cards with pop up penguins and heartwarming photos of friends with puppies and grandchildren in color coordinated outfits and feel the weight of unfulfilled intentions from the year gone by.
Some of us are wired to move slowly. Some to rush. I lean toward the latter. I typically get eager to put my annual goals in writing and get going on the action plan. But despite my thoughts urging me to stop being a slacker, friends with viruses and the freezing temperatures cause my start to be as slow as molasses in January (to quote my mom).
What has rushing got me?
Rush when pulling out of a parking stall at Trader Joe’s and you can hit a car driven by a young father with his son in a car seat. (Hurry to the DMV class to restore points lost to speeding tickets.)
Rush while eating and you can consume thousands of calories a week that you can’t remember eating let alone enjoying.
Rush when among friends and you can blurt a thoughtless comment about one of them. See the table fall silent and feel your face redden with shame.
Clearly one thing I’ve been able to be slow about is learning the price of speed. Moving fast has cost me dishes broken on my tiled kitchen floor, tearful apologies to those who deserved better, and the savoring of the scent of nutmeg in first bites of a plate of fettucine I wolfed down.
Racing through life has cost me more than the price of a traffic ticket. The chance to hear what was in someone’s heart when I was quick to plunk my own two cents worth into the conversation. The chance to sit for ten more minutes with my mother because I thought I had anything more important to do. The chance to watch the evening sky go from baby blue to pink to indigo.
Dr. Kotecha, an ayurvedic physician, once topped his list of prescriptive recommendations for me with three words: Do not rush.
I instantly objected with a nervous laugh, “But there’s so much to do! I can’t just stop!” `
He clarified: Do not rush, while not stopping doing anything.
Everyone is trying to stay healthy. I will, too. I’ll strive to follow doctor’s orders. I’ll move some of my January To Do’s until March as I practice an occasional pause and apply lessons that wintertime teaches.
I’ll surrender to this season. Time to slow. Time to move forward.
Are you moving forward at a pace that serves you?
Is it time to speed up or to slow down in some area of your life?
How can you be intentional about the balance of both pausing and progressing?