Last week I received my first speeding ticket as an adult. Man, there is something humbling about that! Don’t you get that sinking feeling when you realize the police officer has his lights on for you? It’s not for the criminal involved in a high speed chase in some other town. And it’s not because there’s some medical emergency in the nearby neighborhood. This time, you aren’t going to get to pull over for a second to get out of the police car’s way then continue on your drive. The lights are for you, so this time, you will sit there for 15 minutes while you feel the eyes of every passerby staring at you and judging you. You will receive the officer’s message: slow down.
A Wake Up Call to Slow Down
That day, I rushed to make it to my dentist appointment on time. (Who am I kidding? I wasn’t going to be on time, even after speeding the whole way there!) I left my house at the time my appointment started. The responsible thing to do would have been to call the dentist’s office and let them know I was going to be a little late. (But, you know, I have anxiety about calling people. Ha!) Instead, I gunned it the whole way there, getting more and more angry at myself for being late…again.
As I sat there waiting for the police officer to return, trying not to freak out…or cry, I thought about how fast I had been moving the last couple days. My anxiety was back, and this time I realized it was because I was doing too much. When you are doing too much, you are always at high speed, and for me that means my heart is as well, leaving me constantly feeling stressed. I wasn’t sleeping well, I got zits that no 31-year-old should get, and I was stress eating. In fact, I put all of the weight that I lost last year back on in what seemed like an instant.
A Conviction to Slow Down
I remembered in that moment waiting in my car that I felt convicted to slow down and to take on less. I know that if we want to have time for the people in our lives, and if we want to enjoy our lives, we need to slow down. In fact, I knew I was even taking on too much in regards to this blog. I feel the pressure to optimize my presence on social media, to write quality content consistently, and to provide all of my subscribers with great value. This pressure in and of itself is not bad, but the truth is, I also have a job. And I also have a family. What I’ve realized is that blogging is hard. I enjoy it SO much, but people (including me!) don’t realize how much goes into a successful blog.
I know that blogging is what I love and want to do. So, that means I need to work smarter, not harder. I will continue to bring my readers what I hope to be quality content, but it might mean that it’s less often until I get better systems in place to make sure I work smarter so I ALWAYS have time for my family and friends and for taking care of me.
A Gift from God
A friend told me recently that when we are feeling convicted but aren’t making the necessary changes, God sometimes gives you a nudge. What stuck out to me was when she said, “Sometimes God’s gifts come in really ugly packages!” I think that getting pulled over and receiving a speeding ticket was God nudging me. It was my wonderful gift in an ugly package.
The gift that God gave me that day is this: the desire and the resolve to make changes. That day, I slowed down. I put my laptop away, and I left my phone on its charger. I planned times to get stuff done around the house and focused on spending quality time with my family when I wasn’t. Here’s to hoping it sticks.
How have you begun to slow down? If you haven’t, is it a desire that you have? Share with us in the comments. 🙂