STYLE Savvy: Sometimes You Need to Get out of the Tunnel

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A few weeks ago, I realized that throwing myself full force into everything isn’t always a good thing. Kind of sad that I’m just now figuring this out in my sixth decade of life, but there you have it.

Why do I do this? Race and run, push instead of flow?

Because time is short. Life is short and there is so much to do, so much to read, so much to know. There are so many things I want to do and, as I get older, the list seems to get longer, not shorter. Consequently, I feel as though I’m always in a hurry, skimming the surface, checking things off my list.

But the list never ends.

By not giving myself time to absorb one thing before launching into another, I end up giving short shrift to both things and, in time, to everything. I vaguely remember where I put things, what I promised and the details of conversations I’ve had.

Frustrating.

If my January goal was “just say no,” my summer goal, aided and abetted by a week’s vacation at the beach, was to breathe, slow down, and take it all in. Ditch the tunnel vision, or at least pop a few bricks out of the tunnel to let in the light from outside. Too much time spent chasing down every last item on the list can convince us that life off the list is merely a distraction or, worse yet, that ditching the list to be spontaneous is a waste of time.

When we become too driven by purpose and goals, we can forget that we also need time to rest. To conserve. To consolidate. To stop throwing ourselves at tasks and just be.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

If you’re like me, it also sounds hard. And that’s a little scary.

So here and now, in the final third of the year, I’m going to mix things up. I’m going to take a piece of my tunnel vision outside the tunnel and set a goal to chill out. To accept the fact that, sometimes, my purpose is simply to be in the moment. Be on the beach, or the High Line or my back patio with nature or my family or a good book. These are the things that recharge and bring balance, giving me the energy to power forward when I get back in that tunnel.

These are the things that matter. And so we should savor them. The doing and the straightening and the organizing can wait and, they can even be done imperfectly so that we have time to focus on what matters.

"STYLESavvy: Get out of the tunnel" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Photo via Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain


Copyright 2018 Lisa Hess

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About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at Catholicmom.com. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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