We all have heard the story of the tortoise and the hare. These two animals go on their race. The hare is all confident he will win because of how much faster he is. The tortoise takes the challenge with a proverbial shoulder shrug. The hare starts off at top speed, and then decides to take some breaks along the way and goof off. Why not? It will take the tortoise forever to get there. And yet, by the time the hare arrives at the finish line, who does he see there waiting for him?
I feel a great many of us symbolize the hare. We race around in a hurried frenzy from one thing to the next. Sometimes we race so hard we lay down gasping, needing breath, a break, maybe even a new life. Going slow isn’t an option because then nothing would get done, so we race even harder, even faster because of all the things we aren’t getting done. We just aren’t fast enough. We’ll never be fast enough.
That’s how I used to think life should be. Where did I learn that mentality? I don’t know. Maybe because that’s how everyone else around me was doing it, so I did it too. It’s the normal thing to do. If you aren’t busy, you aren’t cool. If your calendar isn’t accidentally double booked at least a couple times a month, you aren’t doing enough.
The last few months I have been trying a different way. After all, what was the so-busy-I-could-see-myself-coming-and-going doing for me? It was stressing me out so much I was always sick. It was making me feel pulled in all directions. It was making feel overwhelmed and incapable of sometimes even getting out of bed. I was always irritable and frustrated. I always felt like I needed a vacation, even after I just took a vacation. I never felt like I had time for anything, most especially myself. I felt depleted and completely broken. I could barely function on any level. I was miserable, and an erratic mess. I was sad. I was done.
I have done a lot of things between then and now to change my life around, one of them has been slowing down. WAY down. I took all the things out of my life I felt were obligations, and were weighing me down. And then I started doing the things I wanted to do. I still manage to get the things done that need to be accomplished. But what exactly needs to be done?