I’ve always rushed things. In elementary school I rushed through activities to move onto the next thing. In middle school I rushed through classes to take High School classes early. I did the same thing in High School, taking college courses early on to keep moving forward. I couldn’t wait to get through college and “into the real world”. Only to find myself there thinking about changing jobs or going back to school. It would be easy to make the excuse that my brain just is always rushing fast, but I feel like that is an easy excuse. I also don’t think I’m alone in this and hope to find a way to solve this personally.
This is not a post with solutions. This is a post on reflections and plans to move forward.
The first thing that I’ve been exploring is an expansion of writing. Writing forces you to stop, think, and explain what is going on in your mind. Putting these thoughts into words allows you to take disorder and create order. I have found that different types of writing help with different mental hurdles we often go through. Personal journals are messy, often a collection of fragmented throughts or ideas. My personal journal is littered with drawings, random thoughts and unhatched plans. Lists are great ways to organize tasks or things to lookup so they don’t get lost in the shuffle of things flowing through your mind. Finally, public writing gives you the audience to account for in your thoughts. This is important because it means you are explaining things for someone else to understand and can’t always be the loose collection of thoughts flowing from your mind.
Taking the time to read allows you to enter someone else’s thought stream. This is important because escaping from your mind can be a way of slowing down. It puts your brain on hold for the briefest of moments. However, often when I return from a book my mind is flooded with new ideas or thoughts. All to often I don’t capture these thoughts on paper but instead let them stew in the depths of my mind often resulting in lost ideas or moments of enlightenment. Keeping a journal nearby can help. When a thought strikes you, write it down, and continue reading.
As a child I had a hard time listening to what others were saying. I was either too worried about my response or a single word sent me down a rabbit hole of thought. This was and still is dangerous. This is how I miss requirements in my job or conversations get stalled between friends. Again taking notes can help in some cases where a notepad is available. Other times it requires you to be in the moment and with people instead of worrying about what comes next.
Sometimes you just need to practice doing nothing. This is something to practice and learned for some. The notion of doing nothing in our culture often seems wasteful but in reality is extremely important. Taking a break will benefit both mind and body. Again, something to jot down a note will help you clear your mind of an insessent buzzing that can occur as soon as a thought flies in. In the spirit of meditation, acknowledge the thought and then let it go.
This post is mostly a reflection upon my life and some regrets I have. Seven years ago I almost passed away due to the stress that was present in my life. This stress came from rushing through life. I regret not spending more time in school and exploring the world. I regret rushing through my childhood into adulthood. However, I do not regret where I am now. I love my life, my family, and my work. Every year around this time I reflect on the importance of being and the importance of doing what you love. Do not rush, do not worry, live the life you want to live.