“It’s nice to have a reason to slow down” says a man in Manhattan during the recent snowstorm. This comment jumped out at me. in an article I was reading on the huge winter storm that struck the Northeast on Friday and Saturday. I knew exactly what he was talking about.
Sadly, that is the truth of the 21st century isn’t it? Snowstorms, illnesses, power outages, floods, hurricanes, accidents give us a reason, albeit stressful ones, to slow down. Why have we let this happen?
I wish I had a definitive answer. Slowing down is hard and one of the reasons I write these posts is to remind me to take time for myself WITHOUT using one of the above reasons. I had to move 900 miles away from home to find ways to slow down so believe me I know how hard it is to change habits and what has become a normal routine of rushing and over scheduling.
Slowing down, taking time for yourself, being able to relax and take a deep breath has to be a choice. And a choice that is made not when everything else is done (because we know that will never happen) but BEFORE everything on your very responsible to do list is done.
Yes, I know that means laundry might not get folded or even done. Yes, I know that means a deadline might be missed. Yes, I know someone will be disappointed by our choice. And, yes, I know the universe will go on.
Cheryl Richardson suggests in her book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care, that we make a habit of disappointing someone every day because it provides a way for us to care for ourselves and in the long run to be more productive and efficient. If you find that too extreme, then at least consider the possibility that you will disappoint someone every day so why not take care of yourself?
Don’t wait for the snowstorm of the century, the illness that puts you on the sidelines or the natural disaster to slow you down. Take time for yourself today and each day until it is a habit you don’t want to break.