Feeling, Living

As Slowly As You Need

February 1, 2016


On this Monday of the new month, I am sending out a message to you: take things as slowly as you need.

(Of course, that message is for me as much as it is for you.)

My iPhone is dying, the battery registering 75% and then a blank screen, the whole unit shutting off until plugged back into a power source. It’s ridiculously annoying. The memo is out for a new one. Until then, I can’t use my phone for much, which is to say, I have to find something else to do with the time I normally burn scrolling.

Last night, as I sat down to work on a project, the electric went out for our whole neighborhood. So much for productivity. H pulled out our headlamps and lit candles. We sat in the dark, him playing acoustic guitar, me reading. It ended up being so relaxing – the darkness, the inability to do much, spending time together, the barrage of input just shut off.

Everywhere I turn, there is the same message – slow down, there is no need to rush here.

So… what if Mondays were about ease?

What if productivity was measured in laughter, in helping someone, in how much of the day we get to spend doing our favorite things (problem solving instead of public speaking, hosting meetings instead of data entry – whatever)?

What if each morning we decided to allow more joy?

What if everyone is doing just the very best they can and we lowered the bar some, just a little, to create some space for others to catch up, or for ourselves to breathe?

I keep hearing the messages, thinking these ideas over. Maybe you need to hear them too…?

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  • Reply Renee February 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, the scrolling! Sometimes I want to chuck my phone out a third story window…even though it’s just the tool and I’m the master. Ha. I am easing into this week, for sure…this morning I sat and watched the lemon tree whip against our front window while finishing All The Light We Cannot See (and oh my goodness, I don’t need to tell you how beautiful it was). My work schedule is such that sometimes I’m waiting around all day for work to be sent to me – it will arrive near 5:00 sometimes, and the rest of my evening is tied up completing it. It can be frustrating, I’m getting better at making good use of those moments in-between and before and around. Since I never know when work will arrive it makes things difficult to plan, but it also means I can take a morning to read or write or an hour in the afternoon on the mat or a walk around the neighborhood, and while it used to frustrate me just sitting and waiting, now I’m learning to love the little spaces in-between. 🙂

    • Reply jtao21 February 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Yes, All The Light… is so, so gorgeous. I have H “reading” it on audiobook and just recommended it to another person. It’s interesting to turn the “waiting around” to “do whatever I want until work shows up”, right? I’m finding that I am much better at buckling down and doing work straight through a few hours in the afternoons. Having slower mornings feels lovely, and somehow, more productive.

  • Reply Rita February 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    When I read books or watch movies about the past, I am amazed at how much time was allowed for things that we do not allow much time at all for now. It seems (although I know I can’t really know) that the pace of life was just much slower than it is now. Although I am in many ways glad to be living now, I find myself longing for us to all just slow down a bit. Don’t even need a lot. Just a little. I try, deliberately, to do that for myself. I try to disconnect from the larger world, to make time to just be or to do the kinds of things that keep me very grounded in the place my body is. I am playing with the idea of making Sundays a day of rest, mostly at least.

    • Reply jtao21 February 2, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Yes, I know – also pining for that sllooowwwnnneessss. I like the idea of a full day of rest, and also, appreciate your “mostly, at least” b/c isn’t that the craziest part? That our culture or our own minds can’t fathom a *full* day of rest…

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