Today the Northeast was hit by yet another snow storm! My family in CT got over two feet of snow, while up here in Albany we got at least a foot, maybe a little bit more. I was supposed to work this morning (I have been cleaning houses while I'm in graduate school), but the roads were still covered in snow when I got up and I didn't want to risk it. Luckily, I have a job with some flexibility, and I can go tomorrow morning instead.
Lately, I've been struggling with the idea of just being at rest. I am constantly doing something! Part of that is being busy with school, the holidays, work, internship, etc. But the other part of it is feeling like if I don't have something in my schedule, that time has to be filled. I am notorious for over-scheduling myself to the point where I sometime later realize, "I can't possibly do all of that in one day!" and need to cancel something.
So today, I was happy to wake up, call in and say I couldn't make it, and actually have a free morning. I made oatmeal for breakfast, caught the news (which I never watch), and snoozed on the couch until about 10. I then got a call from my friend Michele who asked me to walk up the street to get lunch. When do I have time to grab lunch with a friend? Never! I loved that it was spur of the moment (and I had time to say "yes") and that we got to walk through the snow to get there. The rest of my day was spent reading and catching up with some friends and my mom. True to form, this evening I cleaned under by bed and straightened up my room (I couldn't have a completely unproductive day!).
So my question to you is: What makes you slow down? I realized today that I don't want a foot of snow to be what slows me down. I need to start saying "no" to myself (and sometimes to others) when it is time to slow down. I'm reading a great book, which I will post on soon, called 29 Gifts, and one of the gifts that the author talked about was a gift she gave to herself: time to relax, rejuvenate and refocus. Without guilt! That's the key, and something I would like to work on. The other key is that this time not be just to lay on the couch and watch TV, but to really spend the time focusing on yourself and your needs...a good meal, an extra hour in bed, prayer, meditation, a walk...
Instead of snow being the excuse, make it a personal decision to take a break from all that you do and slow down.