slow down

Last Saturday, after crossing the finish line and posing for endless obligatory pictures, I just wanted to go back to Puyallup. I hadn’t seen my baby in two days, hadn’t slept much in three days, and had tunnel vision – hoping to get to tomorrow today. This is actually a problem for me all the time. I am driven to a fault – always trying to get somewhere quicker. Always living for tomorrow but forgetting about today in my rush.

The after-relay plan was to go to a beach house my aunt’s friends have. There we could eat a big dinner, soak our aching muscles in the hot tub and get a good night’s rest. That sounded terrible to me. I didn’t know these people, I didn’t want to sleep on the floor, and I am a finicky eater. I wanted to go out to dinner on the way back up I-5, then see my baby and hit the sack at my brother’s house. I was in the middle of getting people on board when my aunt told me we were sticking with the plan and heading to the beach house.

It turns out, the night at the beach house was just what I needed. I had never met these people before, but they were the most hospitable people you could ever meet. They grilled us fresh salmon, started a bonfire, and warmed up the hot tub. They had somewhere for each of us to sleep – a bed or a couch for all: no one was left on the floor. I took a very long hot shower and poured the sand out of my shoes. We talked about what we did and didn’t like from the Hood to Coast experience. We wallowed in the day – we had just finished a 199-mile relay together and instead of rushing home to go on with our lives, we took the night to relive it.

On the wall in the beach house was this:

I found myself looking at it again and again. In a beach house, where the whole purpose is to slow down and relax and take some time – it was so fitting for both the house and for me.

I am a go-go-go kind of person. I am driven and motivated, almost to an extreme. When I have a goal, nothing deters me from it. I have one-track mind focus and intensity. If I had known this about myself in college, I might have picked a career that suited this personality – like an actuary. But alas, I didn’t realize it until I grew into myself. This personality has plenty of perks: my house is organized, I have worked my way up in jobs, I always know what I want and don’t dawdle around aimlessly.


But it has it’s downside, too. Like I don’t dawdle aimlessly. Everything has a purpose, a plan, an agenda. For the last four months I have been focused on losing this baby weight so I have worked out ten times a week. Any free time I have is spent working out or sleeping.

But last night, inspired by the beach house and last Saturday just wallowing in the day, I spent a few hours piecing together a new puzzle while singing along loudly to my favorite songs. I didn’t work out. This morning, I loaded up the boys and got coffee and a donut and then stopped at a garage sale where we got a few hundred dollars worth of kids books for $20. I didn’t follow my usual agenda. We did what sounded good to me.

Goals are great and getting to some other place is always exciting, but this place I’m in now is pretty fantastic, too. Sometimes I just have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy it, one day at a time. Not all days have to be productive. Some days we can just chill and enjoy wasting time together.

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