Do you ever feel like you’re trying to fit too much in?
You had all these great things planned and then you’re halfway through and you’re thinking this isn’t fun any more, this is actually hard work and what I would really like to do right now is lie down and take a nap!
But you can’t, of course, because you’ve committed. You’ve already started or you told someone you would be there. Yeah, I do that. It feels good at first – look at me go! But sometimes it feels like I haven’t even got time to breathe. I am gasping, rushing, falling behind, and if I stop... it will all fall down around me.
But would it really be so bad to just sit still for a bit? How well can I focus if I am moving so fast?
I find it tricky to stop, even just for a moment, because my mind is racing to what else I could be doing, the next text message or the latest status update. I run around trying to fill my life with ‘more’.
Why do I do that though?
I want to be successful, I want to be useful, I want to be helpful, I want to be liked. Having spare time in my day is sometimes a scary thing, because when I stop I’m left with thoughts that I’m not so sure I want to have.
When I stop I feel like I don’t measure up. I compare myself to others and worry I’m not making enough progress with my life. Letting myself slow down brings me face to face with my insecurities, my fears of unfulfilled dreams and a wasted life, fears that I am not helping enough people. I am not useful. I am not enough.
So of course I try to squash these feelings! I write endless to-do lists, ignoring my insecurity by focusing on what I can accomplish! The feelings go away if I pretend they’re not there, right? Sadly, no.
Slowly I’m learning I don’t have to be superwoman - I don’t have to prove my capabilities to anyone! I am enough, whether I’m rushing or resting, busy or boring (or beautifully balanced ;p).
So I am trying for quality over quantity. That way I really enjoy the things I choose to do, without so much pressure or hurry. What’s the point of getting a heap of stuff done if you didn’t enjoy any of it because you were too stressed?
I often imagine my greatest moments are in my future, and while there are some better and brighter days coming, the moment that I’m in right now might really be worth noticing.
It can be actually be enjoyable to relax, once you get used to it. It feels good to let go of the to-do lists for a while. Then when you pick them back up they often don’t feel as heavy as before, bonus!
Shall we slow down a bit then? What do you think?
words by Hannah Mason & Henrietta Lee