I live life in the fast lane. I absolutely love tackling to do lists, exceeding deadlines, and finishing just about anything. This year’s milestones are a good illustration of how much I love achieving. So far in 2019, I have graduated college, started a new job, co-authored a book, joined a gym, moved into my first home in a new city, became a certified professional in Human Resource Management, got a promotion, started volunteering for 2 different organizations, and adopted an adorable, but crazy puppy.
Taking life by storm came to a halting stop a few weeks ago when I fractured my foot and had to slow life way down. At first, I found taking time to rest and letting others help me incredibly challenging. Someone else is going to take the dog on a walk? No way, that’s my job! But I knew that I had to do it and realized how much slowing down can truly bring joy.
Taking time to sit down and rest often had me in deep thought. Was I meeting my work project goals? Was I meeting my personal goals? Was I using my strengths? What was bringing me joy? Many of us don’t take the time needed to think about why we are doing what we are doing day to day. Being intentional about what brings us joy requires more thought than life gives us at times, so embracing the time one gets to think can prove to be worth the while.
Another big thought came out of my thinking time…
Who should I be appreciating more? Being both introverted and extremely independent by nature, I like to think I can do it all on my own. But I couldn’t have accomplished half of the things I have this year without the wonderful support of the people in my life. I have made strides over the past few weeks to let these people know that they do bring me joy. The things I did weren’t big and really didn’t take all that much effort. For example, I took a few minutes to ask my boss or a colleague about things that were important to them or texted my mom another time to tell her how awesome she is. The little stuff really is the big stuff in the end.
This was the most powerful takeaway for me, with an emphasis on “right now.” The entire reason why I was immobilized was because I was going way too fast in the moment. I was attempting to bolt down the stairs and out the door with my work bag, my purse, a water tumbler, a handful of dog toys, and my 10-week-old puppy. I missed the last step, heard a pop, and the neighborhood heard me scream. What if I wasn’t rushing? What if I asked my partner to help me carry something? What if I took the time to make two trips? I wasn’t even going to be late before the tumble.
Sometimes faster is not better, and as I reflected, this wasn’t the first time I’d learned that the hard way. As professionals, it can often be overwhelming to watch the emails pour in and know that there is always more work to be done. I’m not here to tell you how to do your job, but to help you find joy in remembering that the world will still turn if the emails and questions don’t all get answered in a day. There is always tomorrow, and tomorrow can be just as joyful as today.