Slow. Down.

It was this bowl of oatmeal that reminded me that it’s time to Slow. Down.

On Sunday, while listening to Joel Osteen on DVR in the background, I watched the steam slowly rise from my bowl of oatmeal. The coffee cup beside it was equally warm and steamy.

I was mesmerized.

…by the slow steam rising.
…the comfort of this scene playing out.
…of how slow and joy-filled that moment was.
And I almost missed it.

Almost.

If I hadn’t been in a state of disconnection this weekend, I am sure I would’ve missed the signs, the cues, the signals. From my body. From my inner-most thoughts. From my surroundings.

It’s time to slow down.

To stop trying to be everything to everyone all the time.

To stop striving for perfection, of never-missed beats.

To cut myself a little slack.

As Scott so eloquently put it — “this past month our lives have been on fast-forward. I’m tired. We’re tired.”

And he’s absolutely right. I have been so caught up in my (relatively new) job and making an impact, of becoming a barre n9ne instructor and learning to be the best instructor that I can be, of running increasingly longer distances in preparation for the half marathon, of secretly aiming for the elusive 100-mile month, of continually pushing my body, my mind, my spirit, my life to the limits — jamming as much into my days, every single day.

I’ve lost that edge-of-the-ledge glee that makes living my best life now so wonderful.
I’ve been going too fast.
Missing moments.

I need to slow down.

This weekend of disconnection proved that to me.
On Saturday, the day was filled with activity — but not rush-rush-rush activity like normal. We opted for a 5-miler on Saturday vs. the previously-planned 9-miler (weather was yucko). I met a friend for a pedi before she left for a 3-week work trip. I visited family in our hometown, a hometown that’s only 20 minutes away yet we never seem to “have time” to visit. I got some much-needed snuggle time with Isabel. Who at one point looked up at me from our perch on the floor, put her face so close to mine I could feel her breath on my face, and she looked at me with glee and said “Hi!!” and giggled so freely, so joyfully, so beautifully. I melted.

…yet, I never snapped a single photo from our visit that day. I didn’t want to interrupt our moment with technology.

And then Saturday night rolled around. Our date night out to that favorite wine bar I mentioned. We lingered. For hours. Over every single course of our meal. We ordered dessert. And a nightcap. And slowed down. Way, way down.

On Sunday. The rescheduled 9-miler was looming. Then the “oatmeal moment” happened. Wheels started slowly turning. I suddenly thought to myself “do I even want to run this half marathon anymore?” And that’s when I ultimately knew, for me to question something that I love to do so much? I need to slow down. No – I need to stop. Stop it all. Embrace a Sunday filled with un-routine. I had hit my breaking point. Tears rolling down my cheeks and a quick hug from Scott and I knew. No 9-miler. No nothing.

Just a long, slow, peaceful Sunday. On the road to a wee bit of a slower day, week, month, ahead.
…I can still live that best life right now. It just doesn’t have to be quite so fast all the time. I know this now.

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45 thoughts on “Slow. Down.

  1. i am so glad you are doing what needs to be done for YOU. Slowing down is the hardest thing on the mind, yet the most nourishing too, eh? I adore this post Jess and YOU!

    • For me, slowing down is so much harder for me to accept mentally much more so than physically. I fight myself on it, constantly. Clearly this weekend was a HUGE eye opener for me in that regard. You’re right — slowing down is incredibly nourishing and something that was long overdue for me (and the hubs). I’m glad I listened.

    • Oh friend, it gives me such comfort to know that I’m not the only one that has these little breakdowns now and then. It is SO HARD to step back and put all the pieces together sometimes. But when I do sit back and revisit? I see the error of my ways, like I did this weekend — and man, is it an eye-opening experience to say the least.

  2. I love your disconnect weekends. I am going to talk my husband into taking one this summer. It sucks how busy life gets but it ends up worth it in the end.

  3. It’s important to give yourself permission to slow down. You don’t have to be super woman! I think when we (cause I do it too) try to cram too much in, we don’t enjoy things as much. Plus, starting a new job is stressful, even if you’ve been there for a few months. I think it’s more mentally draining that you realize so when you try to do other stuff on top of it, it makes it really hard.

    • Bingo – permission. That’s a tough one for me. I have this unreal expectation of myself to be it all, do it all, be super-human and that is IT. But I don’t have to live that way ALL of the time. It’s ok to step back and say STOP. I clearly have been doing a horrible job at stepping back and saying STOP. This weekend proved to me that it’s not only needed but it CAN be done, and without major guilt over it either.

      PS. you’re right – even though I’ve been in the new gig for about four months now, it’s still so “new” to me in a lot of ways. I’ve been trying to make an impact with everything I do, approaching every project with a newness about it, an energy, even. It’s a LOT, with everything else going on, especially.

  4. Lee makes a great point – we cram so much in because we CAN. but doesn’t mean we should all the time. I am really glad you took a minute and just realized that it’s time for a reset and time to re-prioritize, maybe, too. And there is something huge to just slowing the heck down. We don’t always have to go a mile a minute, ya know? XOXO. We are so on the same page, aren’t we?

    • Absolutely — just because we CAN doesn’t mean we NEED to or HAVE to all the time. Sheesh. Since when did we decide we needed to be super woman all the time?? It’s gotten a little crazy up in here lately, agreed?

      I’m so glad that we both sort of hit this realization at the same time. Cheers to slowing the eff down. Together. 🙂

  5. Your weekend sounds magnificent! Really, it sounds like just what I need too! I had a taste of it (with 2 coffee dates with my mom this weekend)…but still definitely stayed wrapped up in technology too!

    • Well — I’m glad you ENJOYED your weekend, even if technology was involved. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to get wrapped up in technology — just when it steals the joy out of time with loved ones, know what I mean? I love that you and your mom got to have TWO coffee dates this weekend. Awesome. 🙂

    • Exactly. It’s that stepping back thing I’m not so good at. As soon as I questioning running the half, I KNEW I was in need of a break. I mean really — I LOVE to run so for me to downgrade one run from 9 to 5 miles and then to NIX the 9 miler all together the next day? Something is seriously wrong.

  6. Great weekend! So funny how I just posted about slowing down too. Life can just be too much sometimes. As long as you recognize your limits and adjust accordingly your doing a good job!

    • Right? We’re totally in the same “place” right now with that whole slowing down thing, huh? life can just get so damn FAST sometimes. I need to get back to the “breathe” in EatDrinkBreatheSweat a little bit more, I think.

  7. I have such a hard time with slowing down too but I too disconnected (for the most part) this weekend and just sat around and read a book. I have a huge pile of work waiting for me (which I’m still putting off right now to read blogs) that I normally would have tried to chip away at over the weekend but I decided against it because I wanted to try to enjoy the weekend. It’s about balance and prioritizing, right?

    • Isn’t it funny how NICE it can be to just sit and read a real, live book vs. plunking down in front of a computer, an iPad, an iPhone, whatever. I spent half of Sunday reading the stack of magazines I’d been ignoring. With no tv, no music, no NOTHING in the background. Just the birds chirping outside, my husband by my side reading his stack of magazines, all while snuggled under a blanket. It was a beautiful thing. And man – when I tell you I legit felt the world around me slow down in those moments? I’m not kidding. Sunday felt like a lifetime of moments.

  8. It’s nice to be able to take some time to gain some perspective! Though I have to admit I’m still not a fan of oatmeal 😉

    • I still can’t fathom the whole “not a fan of oatmeal” thing. We’re such kindred spirits on the running front, how can we NOT be the same way on the oatmeal front?? Something is wrong with this picture. 😉

  9. Love this and love that it’s so in line with my post today too. We all need to take a deep breath and slow down sometimes. You have definitely been working hard (mentally and physically) and breaks are going to be key if you’re going to keep doing that! 🙂

    • Great minds my friend, great minds. Slowing down can be such hard work sometimes, can’t it? It’s the mental fatigue that usually gets me first – the questioning and doubting my abilities when I finally DO take the time to slow down. Yet why am I so hard on myself? Why can’t I cut myself some slack? I’m not a robot! I need to remember this.

  10. I so love how your oatmeal got to you! that is so perfect! Great reminder to take it easy & be mindful. thanks
    T

    • I’m glad you appreciated my oatmeal “story” — it truly was the moment when the lightbulb when off for me on Sunday. That “break point” I needed to see with my own two eyes.

  11. Beautiful post that I can so relate to. Life seems to be in full speed as of late. I have to prioritize and realize that some things will not be perfect. My house might get a little messy, my google reader might be overflowing, I might have to skip a run….that’s ok. What’s important is that I keep my sanity and be present with those I am present with. It’s a fine balance. I admire you for knowing when you need to step back. That’s what makes human, relatable, and real 🙂

    • Perfection. It’s my downfall.I hang on to perfection in all areas of my life. For me to give up on that vision of perfection feels like giant failure to me even though I KNOW it’s not. So I’m working on it. Baby steps at a time, but it’s gonna happen, eventually.

      I am so glad you are working on being present and staying sane during the chaos and finding that fine balance that eludes us so often in life! Keep at it girl!

  12. Good for you for figuring out what you need. I try to step back every once in a while and evaluate what’s going on in my life. Just today, my six year old wanted hugs for a booboo right when I was in the middle of doing something else. I realized as I was sitting and snuggling him in the chair that I don’t do that nearly often enough these days.

    • awww such a sweet reminder of how important it is to maintain that level of presence in life — if you hadn’t been paying attention to it, you would’ve missed that snuggle time with the little one. Life is too short to miss out on those!

  13. Genius babe, seriously. I’m glad you realized you’ve been pushing yourself hard, and you took a step back. You’re not going to screw up your training routine by missing one run. I bet you feel like a million bucks today.

    XOXOXO

    P.S. NEXT WEEKEND! Can’t wait to hang again!

    • Thank you friend, seriously. I HAVE been pushing hard, in all areas of my life — but I guess I thought I could or should or needed to be superwoman and do it all, no matter what. I’m glad Scott and I had that “moment” (A ‘come to jesus’ if you will) on Sunday. Totally brought us both back to sanity, reality, balance, etc. And you’re right – one training run in the big ‘ol grand scheme of things? not gonna make or break our training. nope!

      PS. YAY! I can’t wait to hang out TOO!!

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  15. I loved reading this post. right this miunute, we’ve been going a million miles a minute getting ready for the move and all of sudden there’s tornadoes & thunderstorms this afternoon, and I’ve been forced to slow down…and read blogs! 🙂 the best time to slow down is when we’re eating our oatmeal so we can savor every single bite. mmmm

    • I was JUST thinking about you after I saw the news about the storms in Dallas. PLEASE be careful!!!
      Though I’m glad that the storming got you to slow down a wee bit amidst the chaos that is your life right now mid-move. But still, I hope you are safe and sound and warm and cozy until they pass, my friend. (and YES – slowing down while eating oatmeal is SO necessary. I get so sad everytime the bowl is empty again, hehe)

  16. I love this Jess. I too need to learn to slowww down more often. It’s something I’m working on at the moment, instead of trying to do it ALL, every second..to just be sometimes. It’s funny how hard slowing down can be at times, when really it is the easiest, most mindful thing we can do for ourselves.

    • It. Is. So. Hard. to slow down. SO HARD. Especially since you’re like me and naturally want to do/be everything/everywhere to everone at all times. It’s hard to step back and say no. I’m glad you’re trying though, it definitely takes LOTS of practice. I’ll say that.

  17. Jess, I can’t even begin to explain how much I can completely relate to being tired. Just completely and utterly exhausted. I wish I could sleep for a couple of days after everything that’s gone on.

    Your oatmeal looks dreamy. Seriously. Just delicious.

    I’m so glad you took some time off this weekend. While I would love to “disconnect”, I can’t. I can disconnect from being everything to everyone and going everywhere and doing everything…but I have things like my blog that need some attention. Hehe.

    • I beg to differ my friend – you CAN disconnect, and actually you kind of did do that to a certain extent on your Floria trip. However, the trick is to emulate that when you’re on your home turf — which at least for me, is MUCH harder to do. It’s so easy to get into GO GO GO mode when in your usual routine environment. I challenge you to give it a shot, seriously. 🙂

      • I think my problem is I’m emotionally exhausted. Bittersweet goodbye (and two more hellos) to the dog, the crisis with the other dog, the bittersweet visit with my Grandma, my mom’s cancer scare, my Dad’s cancer scare, and now my sister who’s going through some heart problems. (Found this out last night.) I’m pooped! Haha.

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