I do everything at warp speed. Anyone who knows me can vouch for this fact. I eat fast, walk fast, write fast. In fact, I’m often the fastest and I actually pride myself on these very things: on being the most efficient and accomplishing at least 10 things before 9am. I have a to do list long as my leg, and I’m pretty tall.
I’m constantly checking things off (accomplishing things quickly) and adding more things to do (quickly giving myself more work). I don’t know how to relax or slow down, even just a smidge.
But recently something stopped me in my tracks. While in Halifax, I was talking to my writing mentor, Lori A. May, about how I wanted to write my 300 page book, get an agent, have it published and go on a book tour as quickly as possible. With my kids in tow, of course. I don’t want to leave them again for two weeks—especially if I’m on an international book tour. Ha!
(I should point out that I haven’t yet written a single page of my masterpiece, nor do I know where to begin or if it will totally suck.)
“I can tell you have no patience,” Lori told me. We had known one another for about a day and she was bang on. Patience was never my forte. “Writing a book takes time. Slow down and enjoy the process.”
It occurred to me that I could apply these words to every aspect of my life.
I could enjoy eating, walking, writing a book, being in love, and now, raising a dog, if only I could take a minute to be in the moment. If only I didn’t try to jump ahead to get to my destination before I’ve left the starting block. I’m really going to try enjoying my beautiful new puppy rather than wishing away these months to a time when he’s trained and doesn’t whimper at night. I’m going to try enjoying every second I have with my boyfriend, instead of constantly wishing we were two years ahead of wherever we actually are in our relationship. I’m going to enjoy thinking about my book, about writing a chapter, erasing it and starting fresh. Life isn’t a race. It isn’t a contest. There’s no prize for finishing everything first, being fastest and having the longest to do list. I’m going to try slowing down and enjoying the process.
I realize this might take some time…