I'm Learning to Slow Down

I’m sure you are not shocked to hear that I am very Type A. I grew up with a very busy, hectic schedule, going between dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, church, student government, and art classes. I really don’t remember much time for relaxation or play. I’m sure it existed; I just don’t remember it. Needless to say, that schedule warranted lots of planning and structure to make everything work. And I carried that into my adult life. I always woke up knowing exactly what my day would look like. I’d have a timetable in my head, or maybe even written down, of what should happen during the day. And if things didn’t go according to plan, I would get really anxious or upset.

And then I met Tim. Let’s just say, he’s the opposite of me. And quite frankly, I need someone like him in my life. I remember the first time I had dinner at his parent’s house. We must have sat around the dinner table for three hours and I was going absolutely crazy! At the time, I didn’t understand the beauty of lingering around a dinner table and enjoying people’s company. I was ready to move on to the next thing on the agenda!

So much has helped me to slow down and enjoy the little things. I’m sure that getting older and wiser helps. I now appreciate little things, like my morning latte, driving with my windows down, time with friends, and listening to good music. I also think my yoga practice has helped me tremendously. Being able to slow down and breathe has changed my perspective. I can see the beauty of slowing down in my practice, which also translates off the mat.

And honestly, most days I have a general sense of what I need to do, but my days are not as structured as they used to be. If the weather is nice and I want to go for a walk, I do. Of course, I have work commitments and things on my schedule, but other than that, I just have a running to do list. And if I don’t cross something off the list on the day I had planned, I don’t fret anymore. I make sure I get the time sensitive things done, and if I don’t do something that is a lower priority, it can wait until tomorrow and the world will not come to an end.

Also, I have also learned to say no to things. I try not to do things out of a sense of obligation. This is not easy, because I do not like to let people down, but I have found the more that I do it, the easier it is. And I have friends that do this very gracefully and I try to learn by watching them. I realize that when they say no, I completely understand and respect that they have busy schedules.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect at all this. It is easy for me to revert back to my old ways, but I’m much more aware of it now. And it allows me to catch myself and to enjoy things more. I’m grateful I’ve learned this at a point where there is so much to enjoy. And I will continue to look for beauty in all that is around me.