Today I was running on the treadmill, and I had a moment of panic. I know the feeling pretty well, as I have had panic attacks in the past. Without warning, all the air rushed out of me for just a split second. I hopped off the ‘mill for a second in order to catch my breath, trying to figure out what just happened. And I realized that what I was physically doing has become a metaphor for what I am currently doing in my life. I am stuck on the treadmill that has become my life.
If you know me, you might know that I have a hard time sitting down and being still anymore. It’s a lot to ask me to settle down for shavasana at the end of a yoga class. I know, I know, I should be still and let my thoughts drift away, blah, blah, blah. But I don’t, and that’s not who I am (yet). But lately, I don’t feel like my energy is directed at going fast or doing a lot, it’s just directed toward hurrying. Hurrying is WAY different from not sitting still. I feel like I have to hurry from working out to making lunches to rushing the kids to school to speeding to work to speeding through my day to speeding home to pick up the kids, etc. You get the point. I am supposed to be doing a full-time job in 28 hours a week. My husband thinks I am just not prioritizing well, but I have to tell you that I don’t always get to choose my priorities at work. All I have done for 2 months or more is hurry. All I can think when I get stopped from doing what needs to get done to take care of something else is, When will I be done doing this so I can go back to what I need to get done?
There’s not a lot of time for reflection. There’s no time for kicking back and relaxing. I watched TV last night not on the bike trainer for the first time in a month. Not that I advocate TV as down time, but even once a week would be OK to check out a movie or something. As for reflection, whether about my job or the kids or my family, that only gets done while running or swimming. Even now, this reflection is just me stealing time from punching the clock.
And the reflection I had Tuesday (and again today) was, I don’t NEED all this. Stop this train, I wanna get off.
It’s true. I don’t need what has been billed as “the best job I will ever be offered”. I don’t need to work so I can have a new rug or new patio furniture, or even a new bike (although that would be oh so sweet). I don’t give a crap about my career advancement (I am completely happy teaching/coaching people for the rest of my life), my 401k (I know I should be, but it’s hard to motivate to think about retiring), or any of that other stuff. But mostly, I don’t want to have to hurry through life. That’s completely against everything I have learned about myself in the past couple of years. Where am I hurrying to? I don’t see a finish line, so I am having trouble seeing the point.
I know that today is all I have. I know that I need to live each day to the fullest. That means I need to stop hurrying and start enjoying my kids, husband, friends, family, and everything that I am passionate about again. I feel confident I will figure out the income part, even if it does get tricky at points. I have gained so much in the past year that I am unwilling to let slip through my fingers because I hopped on the treadmill and am afraid to push the STOP button.
It’s freaking me out a little, but today I am pressing STOP.