Slowing Down?

You ask me how I can remain calm and not become upset when those around me are all bustling about. What can I say to you? I did not come into the world to agitate it. Is it not sufficiently agitated already?  ~St. Francois de Sales

My day yesterday started out to be relatively peaceful (one 3-hour meeting in a town 2 hours away), even though I forgot my intention to slow down for Slow Down Week.  Then I remembered (around 7:30 p.m.) that I had a weekly online chat from 8 to 10 p.m. for the class I am taking from FSU. My normal bedtime is between 9 and 9:30, since on the days I commute to Atlanta (like today), I get up at 4. And of course, at 10 p.m., following my class, I was wound up and had to spend at least a half hour unwinding before sleep.  Incidentally, my favorite way to do that is New York Times Sunday Crosswords.

Today consisted of one meeting after another–after my 1.5-hour commute, I did manage to have 7 to 8:30 a.m. to unpack my bag, clean out my inbox, and check my e-mail, but then the meetings began: one from 8:30 to 9, one from 9 to 10, one from 10:30 to 11, one from 11 to 2 (which went until 2:30) and one from 2:30 to 3:00 (my normal quitting time). Only at the end of the day did I remember it is Slow Down Week!

Now I am sipping red wine in honor of the week (a good excuse, don’t you think?) instead of walking on the treadmill (isn’t there something weird about that activity?) I used to go to a gym, where at some point I was really struck by all the simulations of natural activity–pretending to row, pretending to walk, pretending to bicycle. How bizarre.

I have another chance to observe this special week tomorrow–I am working from home, which means I can sleep an extra two hours. I’ll bet I can be more mindful, not cause much ‘agitation,’ and actually be more productive and centered.  So, tell me, friends…have you done anything differently for Slow Down Week?


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