Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Note To Self: Slow Down

Earlier today I was feeling completely overwhelmed. I'm busy pitching ideas to my magazine, have like five stories to write for its online component (all within the next month or so) and pitching to a regional magazine all the while reaching out to even more publications. And let's not even mention the work I'm actually getting paid for: fact-checking! I'm basically living in the swamp.

My anxiety levels have been on the rise since yesterday and all I can think about is what I need to do and how I'm not getting it done fast enough. I feel like Jessie Spano in that infamous "I'm So Excited" caffeine pill freak out episode (It's a classic really).

Now for the past few weeks I've been reading Learning To Fly by Sam Keene, a book T lent me that talks about this old man's (the author at 60) attempt to learn how to fly on the trapeze while adding his philosophical views on the matter. On my way home I read this passage:

"Like most modern successful men and women, I have inadvertently become a slave to the Speed Demon. I suffer from that diseased sense of time that infects those who live in the fast lane - type A achievers, men and women on the go. Almost all of us who are bedazzled by the promise of prosperity and happiness through the market economy have become adrenaline junkies, chronically stressed and distracted by trying to do too much too fast. Hurry up. To the speedy belong the spoils. FedEx it, get it there tomorrow. If that is too slow, use e-mail. Speed up your brain and your nervous system or else you will fall behind.

"The velocity necessary for success exceeds the rate of reflection. The faster events move, the faster we move to try to keep up with them until we are overwhelmed by the escalating pace. In managing a business, as in learning to fly, the problem is especially severe. Any trick in the competitive marketplace, or midair, is a series of millisecond moves, each of which must be done on time and in the right sequence in order to succeed. The Speed Demon has created the illusion that we must spin at sixty miles per hour to achieve success. We suffer from the illusion that the faster we run the more likely we are to grasp happiness."

So true. I feel like I have to keep pedaling to get to wherever I need to go, to be successful. I'm scared that if I stop for just one second - even if it's to contemplate on all that I've accomplished thus far - the world will pass me by. But it already is. I find that I have no time (or so I say) for Me, for pampering Me, for taking care of Me. I'm so busy doing and working to maybe someday get a chance to relax and that moment never comes. There is always something else that needs to get done. And I keep doing all that racing around and juggling act under the pretext that this is what I need to do, pay my dues in a way, to get to where I want to be.

And as a New Yorker it's even worse! I might not have a particular destination, but boy will I get there super fast! A Robert Frost quote came to mind earlier as I was reading the book, one I read and wrote down years ago: "There's absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go slow." Clearly I've yet to learn this.

Well my first step in taking care of Me was finally cooking myself an actual dinner. I made rice with vegetables, porkchops and topped it off with freshly squeezed lemonade and a nicely baked crumb cake. When dad said he'd stop by (to cheer me up) I asked him to bring my mom along. Mom helped me finish off dinner and gave me much needed pointers while dad joked around asking what channel the Mets were on. It was really nice having them come over and see how their big girl is fending for herself.

Now the second step? Finally getting some shut eye to deal with all that tomorrow is sure to bring. Joy.


  1. Yay you cooked!!!

    I have been feeling stressed lately too. I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing and revolve around long walks and going out with friends??

    The going out with friends part has definitely occured, I see you guys all the time, much more than in winter. But the relaxing, long walks part has yet to materialize. I'm tired of thinking.

  2. Yeah, so much for the leisurely summer days we were anticipating.

  3. ok soo ill stop harassing you on deadlines for these blog posts.....but that doesn't mean you should slack off ;)...lol Love ya!!!


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