At first glance you might think this post is about slowing down with running. Although I am a firm believer in slow running and it’s benefits, that is for another day. This post is actually about taking the time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. It is so easy to get swept up in to do lists inside and outside work and let them consume you. I have an issue with this, I always want to be crossing things off my list. My runs are even there, at the top 🙂
Every morning to start my day I prioritize what I will get done. This sounds like a good start, it is but it gets excessive. By the end of the day I have too many things added to my list that I am at the point of being overwhelmed. Now all these don’t have to be done today but by adding them to my “To Do Today” list I add unnecessary stress to myself and I feel unaccomplished. I need to celebrate the little accomplishments along the way, this is the same with running. Don’t expect to win races when you just start racing, set big goals and smaller ones along the way and celebrate them all!
Anyway, back to the to do lists. Yesterday I noticed how I really plan my day out to a T. To the point that I don’t take time to really be in the moment and enjoy things. I am hyper focused on finishing the next task.
For example, yesterday I had work and Girls on the Run. I had to leave work early for it so I tried to be really productive and get an early start for work. Luckily it was also a rest day so I didn’t have to cram in running. I got to work and started doing as much as I could. Around eleven my boss gave me a new project to finish ideally before Girls on the Run. Notmally it would have been no problem but there was a small almost unnoticeable problem with the file that prevented me from finishing. I looked through the file over and over and could not find anything wrong. I didn’t even get to touch the rest of my to do list and I had in my mind accomplished nothing, but the clock hit 2:45 and I knew I had to leave to make the practice. I left feeling disheveled and discombobulated as well as discouraged. How was I going to manage work, volunteering, my dog, running and having a life?
I walked into the school, saw my fellow coaches, let them know I was all over the place but trying to turn my brain off work mode and they immediately could relate. They said once you are here it gets better, getting here is the hard part. She was completely right. Once the girls arrived we had so much fun, as always, and watching them have fun made me realize how I can’t think about work when I am there. I have to just think about the program and how I will remember this experience, I won’t remember the spreadsheets that caused me stress at work.
After this revelation, I decided I need Girls on the Run probably more than they need me. I need that time to separate from work and my crazy to do lists and the huge expectations I put on myself to do it all, and just be in the moment, have fun, smile, laugh.
Then I thought about other ways I will slow down in life.
- Take my lunch break at work and give myself time to eat with a coworker, read or just have time to myself.
- Take my dog for more walks and really take in my surroundings.
- Try to meditate or do yoga for even 10-15 minutes a day
These don’t seem drastic, they aren’t but I think it will decrease my stress and help me feel like I have more time to really enjoy life and realize how great life is. Stay tuned to see how it goes!