Last week as I was scurrying around prepping for my LONG ride, my husband stopped me in my tracks and casually said, “How’s it going?” My immediate reaction (which stayed in my head fortunately) was something like “Why are you talking to me right now? I need to get ready for my ride. The sooner I start my ride, the sooner I finish my ride and I have so many other things to do, so I need to start my ride ASAP!” I later looked back at this reaction with disdain. My husband was stopping me to fondly ask me how I was doing and my reaction was one of “don’t bother me, as I have to get ready for my ride.” Wrong. This was just wrong in so many ways. It almost made me sick to my stomach. I quickly realized I needed to take a step back and put things into perspective.
Lately my life has been scheduled to the minute. I wake up. Fifteen minutes later I start my first workout of the day. I get home, shower, eat breakfast, and head off to work (all in about 30 minutes). Maybe I fit in a second workout, come home to spend time with the kids, make dinner, put the kids to bed, and check on my athlete’s workouts. Then I literally race to bed to ensure I get enough sleep to do it all over again the next day. Sometimes when people call me (I rarely answer the phone) or stop me to talk, I can’t help but think about how they are interrupting my schedule. As having a conversation was not accounted for when I planned out how my day would unfold… I do realize the absurdity of this reaction. I have found myself racing through life and somehow I need to find a way to hit the pause button.
I got a coffee mug for Christmas that reads, “Life is Good – Take your Sweet Time.” My mentality on the other hand lately has been go, go, go, go, go, as there are always a million things hanging over my head that NEED to get done. Slow is bad. Fast is good. Why walk when you can run. The IM training schedule feeds right into this race through life. In order to get all the training in, I feel the need to be scheduled to exact minute. Otherwise, I can’t fit everything I need to get done into the day. Even at the end of the day, instead of unwinding and watching TV with my husband, I feel the need to lie on the floor and foam roll while watching TV. Because I can’t just sit and watch TV. I always need to be doing something. And sitting and watching TV does not classify as doing something.
I feel so lucky that one of the things scheduled into every day of mine is time with my kids. This is the time I cherish most. When I am forced to hit that pause button. The “to-do list” takes a back seat. There is rarely any sort of agenda, as the kids are too young to have many activities. There is nothing we have to do except just try to enjoy the moment. Last weekend, we sat outside for 1.5 hours waiting for the ice cream truck to drive around our neighborhood, hoping and praying it would come to deliver us tasty treats on an unusually toasty spring day. It never came, but it didn’t really seem to matter. The kids got caught up in a game of lacrosse, soccer, hectorball, or some other game they invented and forgot all about the ice cream truck. Children have the uncanny ability to be fully engrossed in every moment. They are only concerned with the here and now and don’t think or even care about what tomorrow might bring. They are certainly never in a hurry to do anything at all. Except maybe run to the ice cream truck when they see it coming down the street.
So slow down. Take your sweet time. Thanks to my kids for reminding me of what I might miss when I race through life. I might miss these moments, these conversations with friends and family, these hours sitting outside waiting for that ice cream truck, which may or may not show up. The things on the to-do list will get done eventually. I need to trust and have faith that they will get done. Thanks to Life is Good for the reminder and to my children for forcing me to hit that pause button. At least for a period of time each and every day.