Ask anyone who knows me… I move too fast. I always have. I’ve usually got four things going on simultaneously, and I seem to like it that way because every time I force myself to take less on, I find myself picking up new things. An example: When my kids got older and had longer days in school, that would have been a great opportunity to find some extra “me” time, right? To get my nails done every once in awhile. Or clean out the closets I keep saying I never have time to clean. Or really stick to a maintenance schedule for my car. To slow down a bit. Instead I wrote a book.
See what I mean.
Take today. So far this morning, I made 40 Rice Krispie Treats for my son’s birthday at school, baked mini muffins for my daughter’s end of school year party tomorrow, ran to Safeway twice, answered fifteen emails, read four blog posts, caught up on Facebook, and cleaned a litter box. It’s only 9:30. In addition to the activity, there’s a lot on my mind. I’m still in the process of retitling the book. We’re just about to hit summer and any semblance of routine is about to go out the window. My kids have their first swim meet tonight and I’m not quite sure my daughter will even dive into the water. And oh, wait… did I even mention that I have 50 pages of revisions due to my editor today?
This is my life.
And I LOVE it.
I know I could do less at school, but my kids like having me around and I like seeing them in action. I could have fewer pets to care for (does any family really need a dog, a cat, a tortoise, a hamster and four fish?). Even though I sometimes feel like I’ve been dropped into an episode of Parenthood, I think the craziness is a little fun.
But now I’m wearing the slippers. Because now I’m about to write.
When I’m writing, I move at a completely different pace. I type with care. I stop and look out the window while I think about the next word I want to choose. I listen to ambient music and notice that I breathe differently. It’s like my life just slows down to this comfortable pace, and for the hours I sit here making up worlds and people and conversations, it’s quiet. There’s a cat on my lap and a dog at my feet and it’s just… peaceful.
Five hours from now, I’ll be trading my slippers for a pair of flip-flops and I’ll be back to my usual fast-paced life. But for now, I’m breathing. And writing. And moving really, really slowly.
Maybe someday I’ll learn how to apply this feeling, this pace, to the rest of my day. But for now, these five hours will suffice. Or maybe I just need to keep these slippers on until I crawl into bed tonight.