Slowing Down

If three people say you are a blur, put on the brakesDavid Kundtz in Awakened Mind

blurThe page I read today in David Kundtz’ book, Awakened Mind: One Minute Wake-Up Calls to a Bold and Mindful Life is titled Hurry Up!  In keeping with the title of the book, however, it is in fact about Slowing Down.  In it, Kundtz relates how, for much of his life, he was a blur, rushing from task to chore but completely unaware until a boss, a secretary and a friend told him that he was, indeed, a blur.  It may not surprise you that I have been … and still can be … a blur.  There was a time not too many years ago that I was working full time, fathering two children, coaching both their soccer teams and working on my doctorate … all at the same time.   Oh, yes … and training for marathons and triathlons.  At one out of town soccer tournament in order to squeeze in a workout between the soccer games, I ran the ten miles from the hotel where we were staying to the soccer field before coaching the game.  I can still find myself lying in bed first thing in the morning assembling an impossible list of things to do and If I try to tackle them all, I’m a blur.

But there’s something else going on.  I’m Slowing Down.  It could be a senior’s lament.  Oh, Matilda, I’m slowing down.  I just can’t do it like I used to.  You can insert whatever it you care to … at sixty-eight, it’s probably slowing down.  I was telling my therapist friend this week that I’ve decided to stop fighting my tiredness, that I’m going to bed earlier and taking a nap when I’m tired during the day.   I’m fortunate to have the kind of business … and the kind of life … where I can do that.  She asked how often I’m doing my Morning Pages and I said, Oh, probably four days a week.  After years in which the answer was, Every day, of course, she was pleased that I’m not pushing so hard.  Yesterday, Muri and I had a leisurely day with an old friend … which will be my Monday Smiles this week … and today, although there’s a long list of to-dos floating in my brain, I’m taking it slow.   It’s not all self-improvement and mindfulness, either.  I just can’t go at the old pace any more and I’m admitting it to myself.  Slowing Down is both the bane and … if you play your cards right … the boon of making it to your senior years in reasonably good health.  As you slow down, life slows down.  And, as David Kundtz says at the end of Hurry Up!The more I paced myself in my daily activities, the more the blur became a defined and approachable person – and the more I accomplished.

Here’s a suggestion to those of you with Younger Eyes … try Slowing Down before you have to.

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4 Comments on “Slowing Down”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I have noticed this slowing down process at our house as well. We aren’t in constant motion as we once were. I used to say “I never take naps during the day.” but now have to say “Sometimes, I take naps.” Just a natural progression, I guess.

    Aren’t we lucky though, that our life allows us to take things slower.

    • Patricia Hembree Says:

      With your schedule in those previous frenetic years, it is a wonder you survived to enjoy the fruits of those efforts!

      All the more reason to consider these current years a much earned reward – that of living in which ever way is appropriate or desired at any given moment.

      And perhaps it would more helpful to change the terminology from “slowing down” and “naps” with the negative connotations they must convey to a person of such accomplishments, to something more positive. Doesn’t “I am optimizing my personal husbandry” sound and feel wonderful?

  2. bussokuseki Says:

    Wonderful reflection and so genuinely offered. Thank you, be well~


  3. “I just can’t go at the old pace any more and I’m admitting it to myself.”

    I may only be 38, but I certainly cannot handle or do the same things I was able to at 28. I have actually enjoyed slowing down. It’s taken me a while, but I am also learning how to listen to my own body.


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