I feel like a reset button was pressed in my life just over two months ago and now nothing will ever quite be the same. The accident, now a defining point in life, was a terrible shock for us. The loss of my mom is always there. I think about it more on some days than on others. Sometimes, I will all of sudden be reminded that she is gone. It takes a minute to fully realize it because it still doesn’t seem real.
Some things just don’t seem important anymore. It is hard to care about the little things. It has been difficult to figure out what to write on this blog. How do I put anything into words anymore? At first it was really hard to interact with other people, even close friends. What do I say? How can I articulate in a short conversation how terrible it has been? How can I also say that there is hope, despite the shock and chaos? Sometimes it was easier just to avoid talking about it.
The thoughts I have been having the past few days have been about slowing down my life. Because now it just doesn’t seem so important to live that fast-paced, always-on-the-go kind of life. It feels more important to make sure there is quality in my life and that there is time to enjoy.
Some of the practical things I have done to slow down:
1. I avoid making a to-do list. If I have to make a list of reminders, it is never more than the things I need to and can do the next day. If it isn’t something I can do soon, then it doesn’t go on on the list. If that thing is important, than I will remember it eventually.
2. It is okay to have nothing to do. This can be kind of hard when I have usually had a long to-do list! There was never any relief. There was always something hanging over my head. And I am a literal kind of person so as soon as it was on the to-do list then I had to do it. Now, without a to-do list, sometimes there are times when I can sit down and think about what I want to do next. Not something I have to get done, but something I can do because I want to.
3. I try to be careful with information overload. Between email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs I have access to a lot of information. There is a Facebook page for almost any topic that you might want to know about. I support this, I like to learn. But sometimes it can be too much. So I try to cut down on how much I subscribe to and how many times I check my email.
4. Discipline is important, but stressing myself by trying to be too disciplined in not helpful to me. I let myself do things or don’t do things with feeling guilty about it. If I feel like I need to be more disciplined, then I give myself a couple of goals to work toward. Even if I slip while working towards a goal, that’s okay and I keep trying. This is especially important for me related to eating well and working out. I have very high expectations for myself and then I often don’t meet those expectations, so I need to give myself a break.
5. Dealing with the people around you who are stressful or fast-paced can be difficult. Some would recommend surrounding yourself with positive people. I agree. I personally have to keep my distance from others who are not a good support or influence for me. It is too easy to get wound up in other people’s difficulties. But this is also something I am still working on because I can’t just make distance with people that I care about. It is a bit of a conundrum and I am not always sure what to do.
6. Writing in a journal has been very helpful for me, as has writing this blog. It helps to organize and slow down my thoughts, which can be going at a pretty high speed sometimes, usually when I am trying to fall asleep, of course!
7. Final step to slow down: Get a puppy! Ok, this is a suggestion that might not be possible for everyone but I would suggest doing something in your life that might force you to slow down. For me, getting a puppy has forced to me to go for walk every day for 1-2 hours, which means I am outside and enjoying the beautiful city I live in and I am slowing down. I can’t really do anything else at the same time. It also means I need to give my puppy cuddles and attention, which is good for me too.
These are just a few of the things that I have done and am doing to slow down. They are not possible for everyone, but they have worked for me. There are lots of people who love the fast pace and that works for them. Personally, I will continue to slow down because it works for me. I like it. Thanks for reading!