“Don’t wish your life away.” Among dozens of quotes I remember from my grandmother, that one sticks with me and forces me to keep going. Lately, I’ve realized I’ve been rushing around so much, trying to do everything all at once to the point I am not as effective as I could be.
I know what I want out of life: why don’t I have it already? I’ve put in the hours and made the sacrifices. It isn’t enough. I am so busy keeping it all from falling to pieces that I’m going too quickly to the next big thing: A squirrel trying to beat a blue jay at its own game at the bird feeder during a February deep freeze. It’s time to slow down and get it right.
So, what does it all mean? It means I am old enough to realize that some things take time to get right. There are times when shortcuts hinder you.
This past fall, I decided to say “yes” to as many things as possible. Even though I haven’t read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes yet, the concept would not let me go. I took it to the next level in December in an attempt to stave off seasonal depression and recapture all of what I love about Christmas. The results were … mixed.
I loved every minute of each and every thing I did in December. I cherished every minute with my niece and nephews, my siblings and their significant others, my parents, extended family, and friends. But, there comes a time when you question your sanity. Are we doing this because we “should” or are we doing this because we truly want to? It is a legitimate question – and it deserves a full answer.
So, did it work? Yes, I had a ton of fun. Yes, I made a tons of memories with my family. But, I also came to the conclusion that less is more at times. Maybe I don’t need to go to two Christmas teas – although I probably will again next year. In the end, certain events were skipped. None of us can do it all.
Ever since January 1st, I’ve thought long and hard about how I want to approach this experiment going forward. As much as I disliked having so many snow days this year and sitting around being unable to work for a good chunk of January and February, it forced me to slow down. It forced me to rethink how I want to approach things this spring and moving forward.
Now, of course, I have the opposite problem – and probably will each spring the rest of my working life. Everything seems to happen at once. We are in the midst of getting ready for season #60 at the canoe livery, I’m subbing every day, and I will soon start a long-term subbing position that won’t end until early June. In midst of it all, I am ramping up the job search – a teaching position for next school year – and trying to once and for all get writing. I can do this. It is time to get intentional and concentrate on what truly matters. I need to slow down.