I’m not an “operate at high-speed” person.
I take time to think before I respond to questions.
When my boss comes to my desk hoping for quick responses, I gently remind him my brain takes a few extra seconds to shift gears and enter into his gracious questioning. I’m lucky he’s patient with me.
This week I’ve been forcing myself to swirl my arms and churn at a higher gear. Probably at the natural speed my boss operates.
I’ve been up late trying to get my silly iPhone upgraded (it’s still stuck on the old operating system) and transferring photos to make space to get the obnoxious ‘not enough storage message to go away. I’ve been working and babysitting and running and shopping and returning clothes and trying on swim suits (it’s own kind of torture) and dealing with online orders never refunded. Dylan and I got in a tiff about insurance cards and checking bags and I know I’m not communicating at my best.
My to-do list grows and with it my anxiety escalates at a steady rate. When I went to bed last night with great intentions to wake early and multi-task some more before work, I had to take deep breaths. The dog slept on the floor instead of next to me where she usually settles in for the night. I think she could sense my bad energy.
This morning I pressed snooze and woke later than I hoped. Chucking a load of laundry into our tired washing machine, I got a few more things organized as I poured dry kibble into a clattering bowl. I sped to work and walked in the office door with ten minutes to spare, ready to check in for a flight.
I watched the minutes tick by.
Click – right as the time turned over – and my stomach dropped.
I did not have the necessary information to get my boarding pass and I almost started crying at my standing desk.
Four big, deep, ‘Ohmmmmmms’ later and I walked myself to the coffee shop to get my regular hot beverage that restarts my soul. Yes – vanilla lattes are a coping mechanism.
I approached the shop with its warm lights and freshly ground beans beckoning and tried the handle. The back door was locked.
“Son of a bitch,” I cursed under my breath. As I walked around to the front door I told myself, “You need to do a better job of being kind to yourself.”
I’ve learned, in the last few years, moving faster does not get me where I need to go any more efficiently. I make errors, I forget things, or the universe tells me to pause when the barista forgets to unlock the back door forcing me to take a few more steps.
Moving faster just gets me frustrated.
There’s a stretch of road in between a few large fields left undeveloped and protected by the prairie dog lovers of Colorado on my commute. As I drove I saw the snow-dusted foothills and looked up to see a flock of geese flying in the bright blue sky. At the same moment I was muttering for the car in front of me to go just a teeny bit faster, these beautiful birds were flying on their way to the next thing. I doubt they had big to-do lists nor were they worried much about their speed. I’m guessing they just followed their instincts, flapped their wings, and took flight.
This week I’ve been ignoring my instincts, saying yes and packing days full when perhaps I could have just started moving my wings at their own natural speed.
So when the internet went out at work this afternoon, right after I sent my boss to an appointment not present on the other person’s calendar, I paused and had to ask, “What would the geese do?”
They’d keep flying beautifully.