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It’s Okay to Slow Down (Really)

May 25, 2017Wholehearted

You’ll Get Run Over if You Go Slow

Our world moves fast.  Really fast.  As a teacher, it’s a constant treadmill that goes faster and faster as I try and teach more and more to students who pay attention less and less because the content is not relevant to them (at least not in their opinion).  As a wife and as a mom of two boys, I hit the floor running at 4:30am, and I don’t stop until I fall into bed at 9am.  

But, as a blogger and (wanna-be-working-on-it) side hustler, it feels like I’m moving at a snail’s pace.  Much like the tortoise in Aesop’s Fable, it feels like everyone is running faster and doing more, and I feel left in the dust.  I look on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and my email and I am surrounded by these amazing success stories of people who want to tell me “how I made $100K my first year blogging!” or “how I used (some awesome resource!) to increase my list 100x!”

And I feel slow.  Like I’m not doing enough, even though I’m already overwhelmed by the pace of my days.

It’s Time to Stop

There’s a reason that God instituted a day of rest. A shabbat in the midst of the busy-ness of life.  

It wasn’t because he suddenly got lazy or got tired.  He knew that we need stillness to recharge.  We need stillness to be able to stop long enough to notice the people and the world around us. We need stillness to slow down enough to take in the beauty and wonder and blessing.

We miss this in our rush to do more faster.  I miss this in my rush.  I wonder, do you?

The Wonder of Going Slow

I’m not sure I truly know what my own pace is.  After running so hard for so long, I’m trained my mind to think that being still, even sitting down without working, is wasteful.  Is lazy.  Is wrong.  How do I undo this training?

Do you know what my favorite day of the week is?  It’s Saturday.  Not because we run around doing fun activities (we don’t). Not because I get my grocery shopping done (because I don’t).  Not because it’s a day dedicated to chores and prepping for the week ahead (because it’s not).

Saturday is my Shabbat. It’s my day of rest.  It’s the one day that I force myself to stop and sit and go slow.  No work-related activities. No chores until sundown.  Minimal cooking.

They’re not perfect days.  I have a family.  I can’t check out of my world entirely.  And I don’t think that’s the point.  My Shabbat is about things that draw me closer to myself, my family, and my faith.  So, if that means making kids sandwiches for lunch, then that’s what I do (although, I’ll be honest, I can’t wait until they figure out how to spread their own peanut butter).  If that means I take them to the neighborhood pool (we live in Florida, where pools are as plentiful as the sunshine) to get some play in, then we go.  If it means accepting an offer to lead worship at a local church, then I do that, too.

But it also means I sit on the couch (or even just sit in my bed), playing computer games or reading a book or writing nothing important.  I try to slow down.

And it’s glorious.

The world doesn’t end. It’s there waiting for me when the sun goes down.  The emails and the courses that I keep saying I’ll get to and the grading and the to-dos.  They wait till the exhale ends.

My Own Pace

Does that mean that I don’t get frustrated with the pace of my own progress?  Nope.  It drives me bananas sometimes!  I measure myself against people much farther down the road, and I chide myself for not doing more to get there now.  But, they say that comparison is the joy-killer, and wow, are they right about that!

Maybe my pace is stepping off the track for a minute and doing this just because it brings me joy.  Because it’s a release for my brain.  Maybe this is not a destination.

Maybe it’s about faith and the journey, about kids and the crazy, and about learning to live better and more authentically.  I think that’s the key.

Even if that means taking things slowly.

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