what happens when you slow down?

Remember when I talked about how the move would help me to reduce my hustle, cut back on my hours, and maybe take a weekend off? Well, it’s happening. Slowly, but surely I’m spending less time working and more time living. I woke up on Saturday morning and didn’t feel the necessity of opening my laptop, checking and writing emails, planning more shoots. And I just finished up a few projects that have always been on my mind, but I just never had time to actually execute. I am totally overwhelmed by this amazing feeling of IT IS HAPPENING.

On the weekends though… I start to realize how little I’ve focused on myself the past few years. My body is exhausted, but my mind is totally restless. I constantly worry that I should doing something, even if it’s not work… laundry, dishes, cooking, anything. So on Saturday I forced myself to sit in a chair and read a book (this is what I’m reading at the moment, BTW). It was a struggle and I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that. Not many people have the luxury to actually take a day off like that to just read, but I did and it was truly difficult. I couldn’t quiet my mind and it felt impossible put down the phone. My mind was all WHOA WHOA WHOA, what is going on here?! The same thing happened at the gym this morning: they have a strict no-phone interaction policy and I kept catching myself falling into the old habit of reaching for it to check how many like my latest Instagram got or what’s new on Twitter. Aka shit that is not actually important at all.

I’m aware that this isn’t an overnight process, but I am pretty damn shocked by just how difficult it has been for me to slow down. These few examples have made me aware of just how bad the problem has gotten. But as I grow my awareness (like this morning at the gym), I start to really explore what happens if I don’t immediately respond to that text or check Facebook comments. This practice has also given me a bit of clarity as to WHY I am so attached to my phone: many of my friends don’t live in Seattle, so that glowing rectangle is the easiest way to keep in touch. The barrage of texts and constant photo and video sharing essentially happens in place of real, live human interaction. As someone who says she places high value on one-on-one in-person interaction, I’ve instead begun conducting all friendships via social media and texting. It’s this weird feeling of never being truly alone with myself.

I’m left with lots of questions now: How much connectivity is too much? And how do I stay in touch without being constantly accessible? It’s a strange balance, one that I’m working on more and more these days. If you’ve got any insight or tips or even just similar stories, I’d love to hear them.

photo from my Instagram — follow me here!