Tick, tick, tick. I am a slave to the clock. I call it productivity. I say I am proud and feel accomplished when I get things done. And I am. Yet, I am still a slave to the clock.
I’d like to blame my mother. No, I am not in therapy. But it is true, Dr. Freud. My mother is crazed about getting things done and says the same things about her sister and her mother. I would add my brothers to this list as well. So, I guess you could say it runs in my family. I was brought up on this concept.
I wish I could stop it. There are repercussions you know.
I check the clock 50 times a day. When I was younger, I used to stare at the clock. I decided some numbers were happy numbers and some were sad. For example, the five was happy because the bottom curl looked like a smile. Now, I think the five laughs at me as I curse it every morning when it makes me up. But that’s another story.
I walk fast enough to consider entering the speed walking competition in the Olympics. This is not a good date trait. My wife rarely holds my hand. She doesn’t like feeling pulled. She goes for the arm in arm. I think it’s to slow me down.
This Thanksgiving was different. No, I don’t mean the abundant food and houseguests.
I slowed down. And I liked it.
I was speaking to a friend of mine at 11:15 on Sunday morning. He excused himself. He had to get off the phone as he and his family were eating together.
“What are you eating? Breakfast?”
“We are taking it easy today. Everybody slept in.”
“Okay.” I hung up slightly confused.
Why can’t I be that at ease? I would feel guilty that the day is half over, and I have accomplished little.
Well, I thought I had been taking it easy over the weekend. However, my friend’s actions inspired me to slow down more.
It was a struggle. But a worthwhile struggle.
I go back to wondering. Why am I in such a rush? Yes, I know I said it is genetic thing, but there has to be more to it.
I am going to psychoanalyze myself for a moment here. You know that bumper sticker, the one who dies with the most toys wins? I disagree with that completely. I think it is stupid.
No. It’s as if I am trying to prove something. Often the hardest person to prove things to is oneself. If I keep busy, I will accomplish. If I accomplish, I will find fulfillment. Fulfillment – isn’t that what life is about?
I don’t have all the answers. I just know it felt good to slow down. It’s something I need to do more often. In fact, I may eat breakfast at 11:00 next weekend and then go for a stroll with my wife – hand in hand. Okay, we may have to run after the kids, but I am not going to be happy about it. For me, that’s an accomplishment.
LOL I am so that way. I guess it goes back to Mary and Martha. I am not task oriented. Well I am but only on whatever I happen to be hyper focused on at the time. I love writing so I am super focused on that but everything else? Ahh who cares. I won’t go to my death bed wishing I had cleaned something or woke up at 8 am everyday.
I smiled at the last line of your comment. i hope no one goes to their death bed thinking that.
You must be a Northerner, the closer to Mexico you get, the less the schedule matters.
Well said. This is so true. I never worry about keeping a schedule and Mexico is only 2o minutes away.
Never? Huh? Do you hear the shock in the keys as I type this? I could not handle that.
My schedule is very flexible. I create it each day in the morning, but keep in mind I do not work outside the home. Things in the West coast are more relaxed. People make plans last minute.
If I remember correctly, you are a Midwesterner by birth. How would you generally categorize the people there?
I definitely am. I remember once I was in Gallup, New Mexico (did lots of traveling after college) and I went to a store and it was closed. The odd thing is that it was the middle of the day. They actually close for a siesta. I could not believe it – are you kidding me? Wake up and open the darn store.
Are you based down South?
I’m right in the middle.
Okay – Well, I hope you are close enough to Mexico to know how to slow it down.
Moving from California to Virginia was a big change for me. The saying goes that the further east you move, the more upbeat and faster paced lifestyle emerges. It’s funny when I go back to the West Coast only to have my friends tell me that I need to slow down when I’m talking so they can understand me. Between work, the baby and the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s good to take a day off for yourself. It’s easy to get lost in the fast paced world. One thing that the Navy has taught me not to take for granted anymore is sleep.
I am definitely Northerner. I think I would go bonkers at a slower pace of life though a part of me would love it.
Taking sleep for granted – no, I definitely don’t do that.
like that “friends” way of doing things – but sometimes you do need to speed up – and then some times you just need to take life a little slower to enjoy the smaller moments cause the larger ones are killers!
Very true. I do need to enjoy the smaller moments.
So nice to see you are able to slow down.. I find the city streets too overwhelming they walk to quick, push to hard and speak to fast.. I’m more a village girl.:)
I moved to NY – Brooklyn first – when I was 25 (now in Northern NJ). I used to get this rush of excitement every time I was in Manhattan. I loved (still do to an extent) the energy.
I can totally relate! My days feel wasted if they aren’t full.
Can’t half full be enough sometimes? I have to remember there is tomorrow.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to accomplish stuff and keep your days full! Equally, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to kick back. Recently we’ve spent our weekends not actually doing very much at all but just letting the day flow and ebb as it needs to, and it’s been pleasant and relaxing and fun. And then once in a while I’ll be like a tightly-wound spring and we’ll need to all get out of the house. But when you’re in that zone of really not doing very much at all, and no longer feeling guilty about it, it’s great.
It’s great that you have found a good balance/mix. I would like to be able to find that as well.
Not feeling guilst about not doing much – hard for me to relate.
We are kinda of the same when it comes to this! my week-ends are full and I am trying to slow down, let me give it a try too this week-end! 🙂 at least your friend actions inspired you! 🙂
Well, I hope you succeed and it enhances your joy this weekend. let me know how it goes.
thanks, I will let you know how it goes! 🙂
Ok, so I tried today to slow down! I woke up later than usual but then forgot all about it and opened my laptop 30 min ago realizing I can’t slow down today, too many things in my mind and too many things to do! I will try it tomorrow! 🙂 what about you, relaxing, I hope?
Well, hopefully Sunday will go better.
We celebrate the Sabbath so Sat. is always closer. Then tonight I got a fever. Yuck. First one in years. It is a forced slow down. I am not happy.
Oh dear…you sound like the male version of me. I spend a lot of time planning and working too.
I once developed a death bed test – when I am on my death bed, will I be glad that I spent a lot of time on this, or will I rather I had focused on other things? Now, just making use of that test – there’s the challenge!
I can’t decide if the death bed test is funny or bleak? I have a feeling there will be plenty of things I will realize could have waited.
Do you think it is a Northern thing?
You know, I think it may be! We Northeasterners can be famously inpatient. I’m trying to redirect my perspective. It’s not easy!
You know it Joyce – I hear you.
Preaching to the choir! I get it from my mom, too, the constant go-go-go. One day my dad told me, “just cause you’re not doing anything doesn’t mean you have wasted the time”. I’ve tried to incorporate that into my life to help me remember that it’s okay to do nothing.
Does it work? Has it impacted you?
Did this big difference cause your parents problems? I get frustrated sometimes when people don’t operate on the same schedule.
oh, there is friction between my parents over the difference in how they operate. Dad wants mom to slow down and enjoy things more – and mom wants dad to speed up and enjoy things with her at her pace.
But, the advice my dad gave me helped tremendously. Being just like mom, I felt that if i wasn’t doing and going that I was wasting time – it’s been nice (although few and far between) to be able to spend time doing nothing and not feel it was wasted. The time doing nothing has actually helped me become more centered and balanced. Just a bit, I’m still an insane type A control freak that lives by the calendar and clock. But, I’m an insane type A control freak that has learned to be flexible and roll with most of the flow!
Well, that’s progress. I could learn from your dad too.
I can just imagine it would be tough for two people who are on the opposite sides of the spectrum. There are times when I get annoyed at people for moving so slowly.
It is so nice to slow down sometimes! I hope you’re able to relax a lot more after seeing some value in it. Just think, if you relax more, you’ll be more productive when you do work, so getting nothing done can really help you get things done! 🙂
I know you are right. And in theory, I will slow down more often. i just hope I can follow up in practice.
Slowly down helps us put things into perspective… a nice slow perspective. It’s good to take a break from the crazy every now and then. 😉
You are so right. Now, I have to figure out how to practice that more often.
Don’t we all. 🙂 Tell me when you come up with a good plan. 🙂
Don’t wait by the computer.
Ha ha, nope too busy playing Bubble witch.
I am not familiar with that.
Addictive game on FB… stay away… lol 🙂
I am a little scared yet intrigued.
Well if you like mindless games that taunt your dreams.. then don’t say I didn’t warn you. lol 🙂
Taunt my dreams – no I’ve heard enough. I will not go near. Thanks for the warning.
No sweat! :0)
Slowing down is brilliant. Before I had Elisabeth I used to have days where I would do everything at half my normal speed, it’s so relaxing! Can’t do it every day though, wouldn’t get anything done 🙂
That sounds great. I’d like to blame the children, but it is probably not their fault. While they give me what to do, I would find plenty of things even if they were not around.
I wish I could slow down. Perhaps your post will inspire me.
I hope it does inspire you – and me!
I know exactly what you mean! What a great reminder to slow down. Thank you for sharing.
You got it.
I wear (and look at) my watch all the time, even in the age of computer and cell phone digital time. I think I only take it off at night because I couldn’t see it in the dark. Have done this as long as I can remember. Once, in my 20s, when I was traveling through northern Europe and my watch stopped, I started carrying my travel alarm in my purse. Just because I had to know what time it was. But sometimes I can decompress and you had the right idea. Thanksgiving weekend is a perfect time to start.
I think you are my twin.
I totally understand this. I have a slight touch of OCD which just adds to it. Some days I’m not so fun to be around when I’m on my schedule but damn, I can power through it and get stuff done.
Are you serious about the OCD thing? I think my younger son could have a touch of this as well.
I do respect that productivity thing.
Yep — it comes out even more when I’m stressed. It’s a control thing for me. When I’m losing control of a situation, I find myself doing these OCD routines to create something I can control. I have certain routines I follow every day but it gets worse when I’m stressed.
And I think my son has a slight touch of it too, probably passed down by me.
I wonder how this is officially diagnosed. Anyway, thanks for sharing that information.
oh no! sorry to hear you had a fever, hope you get lots of rest, with fever you really need to rest. I just got sick myself and I didn’t stop, I’m still in front of my laptop because everyone is asleep, really need to go to sleep now! I should take my own advice 🙂 hope you get better soon! 🙂 (don’t know why I couldn’t reply to your comment?) 🙂
Feeling better today – though not 100%. Still running – man I got issues.
I can so relate with you on this! I have the same problem, although I’ve gotten immensely better at slowing down and enjoying things…thanks to my husband. But yes…that need to complete tasks and fill every moment, I found it exhausted me. At the end of the day yes I’d done a lot, but how much had I enjoyed? Sometimes we do need to be efficient with our time, but we also need to balance that with slowing down and just enjoying the moment. Good for you!
100% agreed. I need to follow this more often.
I so agree with this. Even though I am busy, I am learning to begin the week slowly. Therefore, I don’t start in the office until 10 AM on Monday morning, and I sleep in on Wednesday mornings and take my time starting my day. It usually starts around 9 AM. Believe me, it doesn’t sound like much but in comparison to my getting up at five every morning, that is a big change. What I treasure most, at the moment, is my nap time. I slip away for two or three hours and chill out or sleep. I may read or go to a coffee shop, but mostly I find me a quiet place and enjoy the feeling of being alone with my own thoughts.
It has taken some patience to get used to it, but I have. So, I know if you decide to do slow it down you will enjoy life more. Life is too short to rush through it. Good luck.
That sounds beautiful. I am out of the house before 6. I have to psyche myself up for this particularly in the inclement weather.
This day has been on the slow side, and I feel good!
Slowing down is good, you also age slower. 🙂
Nothing wrong with that. However, tell me can it help my hair grow back?
🙂 I made the mistake in my 20’s of pointing out a friend’s bald spot. He was really upset. Not doing that again. Are you not into wearing a toupee or getting hair plugs? 🙂
Time…ahhh….matures, sags, thins and balds us. You could always wear a ball cap, out-a-sight, out-a-mind?
Toupee – no way. They rarely look good.
Plugs – I don’t think so.
I am waiting for the miracle grow back.
I am too vain!
hair in a bottle? The stuff you spray on your head? 🙂
HA! If I were a guy….no way would be right.
I left the teaching profession, which I love, to get a degree in something that would allow me part time of flexible employment. The clock and calendar ruled our family. My husband is teacher and part-time dairy farmer until just 5 years ago we sold the dairy. We are still learning how to slow down and rest, even with me working part time. Great post.
Firstly, I am glad you liked the post. Thanks for your comments.
Clock and calendar – uggh. I will always be learning to slow it down. Fighting my natural self.
What is your new employment? What does your husband teach?