Did you know that some sharks need to swim in order to keep breathing? Their ramjet ventilation system actually requires that they swim to force water to their gills!
I guess I found my spirit animal.
My family and friends always comment on my need to be constantly moving, working on something, or seeking out change. And it’s no secret that I pride myself on the ability to multi-task and my time management skills. It literally feels like torture if I think I’m wasting time. I thrive on efficiency, and it’s served me incredibly well. However, what I’ve come to realize is that same speediness that has gotten me so far also comes with great sacrifice. I’ve missed the details in the rush, I’ve let people down, I’ve forgotten the small moments and I’ve gotten sloppy with how I relate to myself.
I’m challenging myself to recognize that perhaps I could swim a little slower in order to show up more fully. I’ve been so caught up in my speedy eagerness to fill the time and be “my best self”, when what I actually might need, is to cool my jets and allow some unstructured time back into my life. With that realization and the encouragement of many people around me, I’m slowing down and promising to take the time to be a more loving, considerate and caring partner. To everyone.
Here are four of my aspirations:
- I’m giving up project/programs and leadership positions that no longer serve me and passing them on to new eager and motivated individuals.
- I’m no longer rushing to look at my “to-do” list when I get home. Yes, it still exists, and it absolutely still makes me cringe when I see the list growing. But it’s also worth giving myself time to arrive, actively listening and catching up with my family without another agenda.
- I’m booking myself unstructured time. This is HARD. I’m a new mom, with a new job and one billion things I want to do. But I’ve been trying to find 30min of personal time. Sometimes that looks like taking a walk at lunch, writing down an idea or questions that are come to mind or taking the time for brief personal yoga practice after bedtime. What feels most important to note here, is that sometimes that means other things need to give. Maybe the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned up, maybe that email doesn’t get sent… but it also means I have the opportunity to be more present in the things I do get accomplished.
- Most importantly, I’m setting new boundaries in my professional and personal life. This means the work email actually gets put away. This means I keep my phone out of the bedroom. This means I prioritize my family always.
DO I still get antsy and feel the need to have little projects going (of which there are endless)? Absolutely. But do I feel inadequate if I don’t push myself to accomplish the absolutely maximum amount possible in a day? No sir. We all need time to do work well, but we also need time to remind ourselves of work well done and savor the people and places who have gotten us there.
Cheers to a summer of respecting my drive and attempting to swim along at a more sustainable speed.