Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Slow down, baby you're going too fast...

I set the alarm early this morning and should be working on something right now, but I just read Ruby's post and it has caused me to stop and think.

Ever since finishing school I've been working like a maniac. I replaced school with work and work with moving and now moving with looking for more work. I've only had time to read (and finish!) one book this summer. There is something horribly wrong with this picture. True, I've taken time to explore the woods with wolfie and to write on a daily basis...but what is this constant push? What is this persistent need to be in action?

Yesterday I filled out an hour long on-line application for a supervisor position at a big bookstore. Part of the application consisted of 47 pages worth of questions (5-6 questions to each page) used to evaluate my work ethic and leadership skills. There were a lot of trick questions: questions asked multiple times, asked backwards, or in different ways--and I imagine that back at Bookstore Central there is a psychologist analyzing my answers or, more likely, a computer that spits out my personality type and work tendencies.

In the end, as best I could judge, I probably come across as your typical Type A, all-American workaholic--go, go, go, don't stop! (just what they're looking for!) Don't get me wrong--I'm still hoping for the job. But I don't think it needs to be that way. Nor to I think it should be that way.

Unpacking photo albums, I came across V. and my wedding pictures. I can't believe how much both of us have changed in these nearly 3 years. You know when you look at photos of you parents' wedding and exclaim, "They look so young!" Yeah. That's the reaction I had. I'm ok with growing older--and, actually, I think age (and owning your age) is a very beautiful thing. But looking at those photos makes me feel as though our lives have taken an unhealthy turn towards too much stress and pressure.

Let's face it: bills need to be paid.

But beyond that I am beginning to realize two very important factors in life: attitude and approach. My attitude towards life, my perception of what success really is, and knowing how to prioritize what I truly value is what is becoming most important. I want my approach to this new start in life to include a certain amount of faith--faith in knowing that the rest will come--even though it is not always an easy feat when pressure is beating in on you from every angle. Faith is a word I've loved since I was a kid. I don't know why, but it's a word that stuck with me. These days, I'd like to make better use of that word.

This morning, as I sit drinking a very wonderful cup of coffee with my cat, Vico, looking out the window next to me, I kind of feel like crying. Well actually, there's no "kinda" about it at all. I'm not sad. I think everything just finally caught up with me.
Right now.
I'm sitting here, finally sitting still, in both body and mind, planning out my future, yet realizing the importance of the present moment ...and...well...

I want this next year to be different.


paris parfait said...

And it will be different. You're realising your priorities now, with this move. And that's one thing about living in America, the constant rush, rush, rush to achieve, to do something; not to sit still and enjoy what's around you. Balance is the key and it sounds as though you're getting there. Lovely post - much food for thought. xo

bee said...

oh, i so need to take this advice to heart....jessie, it's bee (i'm pixie now, or both...follow the link)
thanks. i'm going to check out ruby's post now.

Tammy said...

That is the first step and it's the toughest. It took four years to accept retirement, but now I could never go back. You miss too much.

BIG HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!

kj said...

jessie, your insight and honesty will guide you. it's all too easy to get swept away by life and miss the only moments we really have: now.

i don't mean to "plug" my blog, but i just wrote a piece about this called "vacation tools and the mystery of now". it's long, but you might find it helpful as you live in your own rhythm.

i'm off to read ruby's post too.

i am very glad to have discovered your blog and the good people who participate in it. i feel you are kindred souls.

Anonymous said...

i'm right there with you, jessie...

Anonymous said...

i often think i am addicted to stress. when my life is calm i freak. i hate that i do this because i don't like feeling stressed and constantly in motion but it seems to give me purpose. god help me.
making time for what is important and meaningful. i need to do this too.
- meegan

swampgrrl said...

i slowed down as i read your post.

we live in a culture that advises that every moment be filled with things to buy, things to watch, things to have. for the moment, our culture does not value slowing down and being present with the now. it ain't natural!

thanks for sharing...

Colorsonmymind said...

Me too sweetheart me too.

I am with you.
I love that you spoke about it.
I love this blogging tribe of women
you give me insight and guide me in the right direction
it is beautiful
Thanks love

tara dawn said...

This post is just perfect...it captures what so many of us are feeling. I cannot tell you how much your words touch me, how much I can feel the energy of every word and the insight that flows on your page. Thank you so much...these are reminders I have desperately needed.
Love you!!