Slow Down – Why So Rushed?

I am a fast walker. In fact I rush a lot of the time.

I think it started when I was a little girl trying to keep pace with my dad. I practically had to run to keep up with his fast walking. It didn’t help that he was 6′ 4″ tall and took long strides.

In high school I remember my friends asking me more than once why I was walking so fast as I zipped in and out of the mob to make it to my next class.

Recently it has been my husband and stepson that ask. My husband asked once, “why did you leave me? Can we walk together?”

On days when I work in New York I have to walk about 15 minutes from the train station to my office. I always speed walk there too, passing everyone in front of me.

Ditto for restroom breaks and going to pick up lunch. Why?

It’s not just walking either. It’s also eating fast, rushing through my mornings, anxiously shaking my leg while sitting still, ripping through my RSS reader.

Yesterday morning a song popped in to my head. It’s an old Alabama song that says:

I’m in a hurry to get things done
I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die,
but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.

So yesterday in the many (many, many) times I found myself rushing, I made a conscious effort to slow down.

When I realized I rushed through the first block of my walk, I let up a bit for the last three. Rather than devouring my lunch, I took time to taste the flavors that made up my salad. When I left my desk, I walked at a more “normal” pace.

Midday a bunch of emails came in to my inbox while I was still replying to one. Rather than rushing through them all at once, I took care of a few then switched to another task before returning to take care of a few more.

This fast pace must be deeply ingrained in me because I had to remind myself to act more consciously a lot throughout the day.

I feel that if I can make this shift in behavior I may feel calmer all around.

Does anyone else have this problem? Feel free to share in the comments. I’m curious how you remind yourself to slow down.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. melly said,

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I don’t know that i can help all that much since I am the girl who has to have her body rise up and tell me “hey, slow down. remember me, here working hard! ”

    One thing that I have begun to do is be really intentional about my ‘breaks’ throughout the day (even if it is just five minutes) step away from work and relax. My thoughts & body get to chill. That has helped so much. It also can carry over in how I approach tasks when I take that little bit of time to center in.

    Sounds like you are off to a good start with what you are doing already. Enjoy the journey of seeing what works for you, Sherri. :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: