I've always been impatient. I rush through everything in life. It's a race for me. How fast can I drive to work? Ooops! I got a speeding ticket. How fast can I get my work done? Oh, you say I work too hard and I don't socialize enough? Hmmm. How fast can I make dinner? Oh no! I burned dinner! Again!
Do you remember the Adam Sandler movie Click? In the movie, he gets a magical remote control that allows him to fast forward through his life. So he starts using the remote control to quickly get through the parts of his life that he deems unimportant. Just a little at first. And then more and more. And then suddenly he's old and alone and he realizes in hindsight that he fast forwarded through all of the important parts of his life. Of course he regrets ever using the remote control at all.
That movie touched me deeply at the time because I have always focused on the end result. I want to get to the finish line and I don't want to waste time getting there. I turn into a machine sometimes, checking tasks off as I go without much awareness of anything going on around me. Multitasking, working on auto pilot. Not tuned into the present moment at all. Missing out on important parts of my life.
I can't help it! Sometimes I would love to be able to fast forward through certain things in life. Like driving. I hate driving! But I have to remind myself to slow down and be present. The entire journey is the goal, not the end destination. Every minute of every day is important. Even driving. I don't want to look back at the end of my life and wish I hadn't sped through most of it.
Three Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Your Journey
Take Time to Wander
I rush to and fro every day, taking my daughter to preschool on the same route, doing the shopping at the same places. I pass by interesting coffee shops, grocery stores and restaurants and think "Someday..." I'm too busy today. Years pass by this way. Well, guess what? I'm always going to be too busy! Someday is today! We are here to learn and grow and explore, not just get through the routines of life. I finally took a Nia class last week and I really enjoyed it! Nia is a barefoot cardio-dance workout combining dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts. It's a workout for your body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Nia is an excellent way to slow down and be present. Another good way to slow down and be present is to drive a different route than normal. Whenever I find myself driving around Portland looking for something I automatically slow down to admire all of the beautiful homes and yards. People really take great pride in their homes here so it's a joy to wander through neighborhoods. Get out of your routine and step out of your comfort zone. Explore your world. Open your mind and your heart and try something new. Nourish your inner wanderer!
Reconnect with Nature
I run at a nearby park several times a week but I rarely pay attention to what's going on around me. Running is just another task I need to complete. And I'm usually in my head plotting and planning my life away! But upon the suggestion of a friend, I've started to walk more than run. I get out of my head, put my to do list aside for a few minutes and really tune into nature. I watch the squirrels gathering nuts and running up and down the trees with ease. I watch the wind blow the leaves on the trees and smell the flowers. I listen to the birds sing. Nature moves at a slower pace. Being present in nature helps you slow down. Get outside and walk around the block, take a hike, or even just sit on your porch and be attentive for a couple of minutes. You'll feel refreshed and energized.
Simplify Your Life
Sometimes I like to think I'm superwoman, able to handle anything and everything that gets thrown at me. And then I get so frazzled, running around like a crazy lady and I wonder why I always have so much to do. But I do this to myself! And I can stop doing it to myself too. I am in control. I don't have to subscribe to every newsletter, join every writing group, take every writing and marketing course I learn about, read every magazine and newsletter that gets sent to me, use every coupon I come across, and be on every social media platform out there. I get to a point every now and then where I have to cut back and simplify or I'll go stark, raving mad! Pick and choose what's most important to you and just say "no" to everything else. Throw away, give away, unsubscribe, cancel and downsize whatever you can live without and simplify your life. You'll find more time for the important things in life like making memories and having fun with family and friends. And you'll find that you're enjoying the journey more.
I'm a romantic at heart with an overactive creative mind and an artistic soul. I've always been an avid reader - I read as much as I can as often as I can! Writing has been a life long dream that I haven't allowed myself to pursue until just recently. In April I finally published my first novel - Naupaka Blooming, a Hawaiian Reincarnation Romance. And now I'm working on the first book in a new fantasy thriller series called Summer's Shadow.