A songwriter friend of mine named Elizabeth Edwards wrote this in her newsletter:
"How was it that with all this technology supposedly making life easier, I felt as if I were just a rock skipping across the surface of my life. Information overload made me tired and I became aware of how disconnected I felt at that moment. … What I realized was that slowing down is a choice.”
Reading her thoughts brought me up short. I’d been pushing myself from project to project until I was too tired to work. That’s skipping across the surface.
I vowed to break the cycle. I decided to add more exercise.
Yesterday, I pruned a section of the orange tree. I’d been looking at the tree for the past couple of years and seeing it getting overgrown. I climbed the ladder and got the saw and the clippers working. The physical exhaustion of the work was satisfying and I fell asleep early.
Slowing down was my choice, I now prioritize my day. I put what is most important at the start of my day when I have the most energy. What’s left after the top two or three tasks are accomplished is just not important enough to lose sleep over.
With these leftovers, I make a mental image of someone else taking them off my hands. I’ve realized for some years that much of the stress of the day comes from stress we put on ourselves. A mental attitude of releasing burdens does work.
I also created a mantra for myself: Everything quick. Everything easy.
I find that what I believe has a great impact on my day. If I believe tasks will resolve themselves quickly and the workday will be an easy one, I’m much farther ahead than if I look at the same day with dread.
As with so much in life, this recent exercise reminded me that we are what we think.
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