Slow Down, You Move Too Fast
As things continue to speed up around us, it becomes increasingly difficult to slow down. We know the mantras, “slow down and smell the roses,” “take it easy” “easy does it,” “one day at a time,” etc. But despite our claims to want to live a more balanced life, most of us continue to race around in an effort to keep time with all the changes around us. With lives split between work, studies, caretaking, exercise, hobbies and entertainment, there are legitimate reasons to be busy much of the time. However, keeping up with technological changes or busy calendars are not the only reasons for our perpetual rush. There might be other reasons worth exploring.
Have you noticed how the question, “How are you?” is so often answered with the word, “Busy?” Some of us seem to wear our busyness like a badge of honour, something that tells the rest of the world how important we are, that we matter and that the rest of the world couldn’t get along without us. We may not trust others to do as good a job, so we volunteer to do it, and then complain about how busy and exhausted we are.
Some of us keep busy so that we can keep our minds occupied on the mundane. This is often in an effort to avoid dealing with the difficult thoughts and painful emotions that tend to well up when we slow down, like in the middle of the night when racing thoughts disturb our sleep.
Some of us keep busy as a weight reduction tool. The idea behind this is that if we keep moving, we keep burning calories. If we slow down, our bodies will recognize how hungry we are and demand to be fed. This, of course, would result in weight gain, which brings us back to negative thoughts and painful emotions.
Busyness is also a great way for us to distance ourselves from others. We can’t really “be there” in the moment with others, if we are constantly planning and executing all that we busy ourselves with.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? At this time of year, when many of you are working on new year’s resolutions, or as I prefer to call them ‘new year’s evolutions,’ (please see http://www.barbarafish.com/newsletter0201.html), I wish you a year in which you give yourself permission to slow down, you learn to enjoy being present in your day to day life and you make peace with your inner conflicts. If you need help with any of these, please give me a call.
I would also like to thank you for your loyal readership. Many of you have been following this column since its inception in 2005. I always love to hear from you and welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions. Please let me know if there are any topics that you would be interested in reading about in 2008.
Have a happy, healthy and peaceful year.
Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”
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