I’m being very conscious of slowing down my life at the moment. There are a lot of things in my life that dictate how busy my day is – many of these are choices, and some are things I have to put up with until a new choice can be acted on … just at the moment it has become a little overwhelming.
I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland and part of living here means that you have to accept that you will be driving almost everywhere you need to go, and anywhere you need to go is between 20 – 45 minutes away. You have to actually double that time for your return trip. Some days, between the school runs and a few odd jobs in town I can spend up to four or five hours in transit, with my little girls in the back of the car with me.
Then there’s the things that you have to sort out – the stuff that goes on your “list of things to do today” as urgent, but often get carried over to the next day or the next week, despite their urgency because they simply cannot be attended to today (because I’ve spent four hours in the car!)
Then of course there are meals to be planned, shopped for, made, eaten, washed up. There are bathrooms to be cleaned, sheets to be changed, floors to be swept and mopped (after you have put away the general household debris that is strewn about) and laundry to be found, washed, hung out, folded and put away.
And then there is my work – which is varied – and the things that I want to do so that I feel fulfilled.
And children and my husband who need more nourishment than food provides – love and cuddles and sanity from someone who can be present to their needs because their days have become as busy as mine.
I re-read this and it makes me sound like I do everything around here – I don’t. My husband and kids pull their weight. But I do a lot of it merely because I am the one who is here to do it. I don’t resent the things that must be done in my life, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have a lot to do.
The problem isn’t that I am busy. I like being busy. I have many projects on the go that I know will not be finished in my life time (but it is about the process, isn’t it‽) I will always be a busy person. My problem is when my days appear to be mapped out for me before I even leave my bed – in fact often my days are mapped out the night before as I lie in bed making my list for the next day. I feel chained to THE LIST and chained to car.
When I wrote to my friend about my spinning mind and the feeling that my life is living me and not the other way round, she wrote back with some of the lyrics to one of my favourite songs: The 59th Street Bridge Song by Simon and Garfunkel. And so this has become my anthem when I feel busy – it cheers me up and makes me giggle. It helps me remember that I have a choice to move fast or to make things last …. like Dunbar from Catch 22 who spent his time serving in the 2nd World War finding ways to stretch time so that he could live longer, or at least have the illusion of living longer (which I think is the same thing) So it is time to slow down, to remember that like my craft projects, my life is a process for something that will never be completed because it keeps evolving into something new! Living slowly allows you the time to enjoy the process.
Time to ask – am I enjoying this moment? What is important here? Does this need to be on the list? How can I arrange my time more efficiently or solve this problem differently? How do I support my needs here? Do feel rushed or do I feel groovy?
I prefer to feel groovy 🙂 I just have to take the time to live it. I can’t feel groovy when I am rushing about like a headless chook. I can feel groovy when I breathe deep and walk slower and enjoy the moment.
The Serenity Prayer also comes to mind. Here is the full version – when I read it to myself I understand the reference to God as the divinity and the sovereignty within me – my own sense of power and peace, my intuition, my strength, my wisdom and life experience – all that makes me aware that magic things happen when I live with conviction about what is right for me.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
And here’s The 59th Street Bridge Song, performed by two guys who know how to feel groovy.