Sometimes, I get a kick out of going through my archives and reading what was on my mind a few years ago. Every time I do that, I find it necessary to hide or delete a few more posts because WHAT WAS I THINKING?
I thought I had it together, but time has proven me wrong.
Let’s just say that I have evolved as I have grown up. (Forty is grown up, in case you were wondering.) My soap boxes are different now. I am also a better writer because (near) daily practice works miracles, and short paragraphs have won my heart.
As you (hopefully) know, I believe in being transparent. If something isn’t working, I feel no obligation to continue doing it, even if I once thought it was a mountain I would die on.
There was a period in the not-too-distant past when I stood on the summit of simplicity. I preached about minimalism and capsule wardrobes, paring my closet down to 33 items and trying (but failing) to love the art of living with fewer choices. I spoke passionately about slowing down. Breathing. Noticing. Savoring.
That was my season of scaling back, and it served me well for a time.
Back when most of my kids were young, busyness stressed me out. In those days, I got NO rest. Somebody always needed me to change their diaper, feed them, read a story, kiss a boo-boo, find their shoes, hold them…and on and on. I longed for a few moments to sit and do nothing. I would have been content staring at a wall as long as I didn’t have to help anybody with their bathroom needs.
But my littles grew up.
These days, my kids do most things for themselves. I am now a supervisor rather than a servant – a role that suits me well. They only need me to do things for them on occasion, like when I am the designated carpool driver. And when they must go to the store THIS VERY MINUTE because they will die an excruciating death without a pack of gum.
In my current stage of life, I have plenty of time to myself. Some days, it feels like too much. I get restless and antsy for action and interaction when I spend a majority of my time alone. (Maybe I am not an introvert, after all…) I secretly wish for deadlines and structure and people running around to add life to my otherwise quiet house.
I look forward to teenagers noisily walking through the door and reaching for a little snack of three peaches and two bananas while they tell me about calculus and other things I clearly do not understand. I feel right at home with the bustle of busy afternoons.
Right now, slow and deliberate living sounds as picturesque as walking through a Thomas Kinkaid painting, except it doesn’t work for me. In fact, it makes me a little bit crazy.
I like to be busy. No, I need to be busy.
There, I said it. Sometimes, I must eat my words.
I’m not talking about running myself into the ground. I know my limits and am exceptionally good at staying within those boundaries. (You will not catch me volunteering for every good cause that comes my way.) But I am happiest when I am working – moving – doing. Otherwise, I feel like a shell of myself.
Slow living is perfect for some people and seems to be a HUGE theme in blogs and media these days. If it calls to you, chase it. If not, don’t feel bad about enjoying a faster-paced lifestyle. I will no longer encourage you to slow down or be content with a simple life. I don’t think we are all wired to thrive on that path, no matter how idyllic it sounds.
Instead, I will tell you to take life at whatever speed feels comfortable. If the fast lane and fierce determination are your preference, lean into them, regardless of what others are doing or saying is best. You do you. The world needs both thoughtful and introspective slow-livers and take-it-and-run-with-it doers to make a complete whole.
If you, like me, appreciate a little speed, just remember to stop and smell the roses or dance in the rain every once in a while.