Don't Rush It

It’s June. When did that happen? Since when does the passing of a few months feel like a few days? Perhaps being in an industry where I'm always looking and planning ahead has something to do with it. Maybe it’s the nature of a city environment that induces that always-on-the-go mindset. The weekday routine seems a bit too redundant, no? Feet hitting the pavement, dodging my fellow commuters or “slow pokes” in an attempt to make the street cross before the blinking red hand freezes…all to make it through the turnstile in order to catch the next 6 train downtown for work. 

And then there’s Saturday. Those gorgeous city Saturdays where things seem to slow down a bit. It’s those days where I carry a very leisurely pace, looking beyond the traffic lights and admiring how many different scenarios are going on around me. Couples, families, friends, dogs (lots of dogs), whatever it may be. Last Saturday, I spent much of my day walking around the West Village and almost, just almost forgot how much I completely adore that part of the city where it’s quaint, quiet, and just about the perfect way to spend the afternoon alone or in good company. Fortunately, I was in good company for most of that time. 

It was recently in a yoga class where my mentor opened up class by talking about not rushing springtime – the beautiful weather and everything that comes along with it. It has since stuck with me and I’ve made conscious efforts to try and stop myself from rushing around through everyday life. If I have to wait to cross the street, so what. I’ll wait for the traffic to pass and then continue on. Maybe it will prevent me from catching an earlier subway ride, but really, what’s an extra five minutes going to do? That one email will just have to go out five minutes later than it would have.  Plus, that’s another one or two songs on my playlist that I’ll get to listen to before I have to put my headphones away and crunch away. 

The first community class that I taught a few weeks ago since coming back from Costa Rica wrapped up almost ten minutes earlier than I had planned, and I thought well, what am I going to instruct these people to do without it coming off like I ended much earlier than anticipated? They got a nice long savasana, complete with some brief head massages and a cold eucalyptus towel, that’s for sure. I was too nervous and I rushed it, wanting to try and squeeze everything in. So I switched it up last Sunday, having the class hold poses a little longer and not allowing myself to get so caught up on transitioning from one thing to the next so quickly just to keep up with the music in the background. It felt so much better, and it felt like “me.” There was a comfort and satisfaction of slowing it down and not getting so hung up on my words, letting it feel natural and authentic.  I felt the difference and I proved to myself that the result of rushing doesn’t really get you anywhere…except away from opportunities to appreciate the present moment and what’s going on around you. And they still got a hot power class, I'll tell you that much.

I’ve absolutely caught myself saying “just get me through this week” one too many times. Not to make any assumptions, but I’m sure that we’ve all said that and likely with fair reasoning.  Or better yet, the infamous “I’m just trying to kill time...” It wasn’t until someone bluntly questioned why we would ever want to “kill” time. Time is precious and so maybe we have to wait a half hour or so for that dinner reservation that we were hoping to get right away. So be it. It’s the perfect opportunity to use that time to catch up with friends or loved ones with a drink or two at the bar or to take a quick walk around the city on those evenings where it’s especially beautiful out. They almost always end up making for some nice evenings. I bite my tongue and catch myself now whenever I find that I'm almost blurting out something about killing or wasting time and instead just try to remain patient and make the most of the situation at hand. The yoga is certainly helpful with that, just so you know.

In any case, rushing essentially just causes unnecessary stress and that’s the last thing that we need these days on top of all else going on in our lives. With the warmer months ahead and many upcoming vacations and getaways, perhaps use the weekdays to keep you focused and on track by making time for yourself outside of work, whether that be through exercise, a cooking class, catching up with friends, planning a date night or trying something new each week so that by the time the week is over or your vacation comes around, you’ve felt productive and likely much more at ease and in that getaway/weekend mindset.

No use in rushing time. There are too many good things in this world to take advantage of and I think this weekend is a perfect one to start adopting that mindset.

Wishing you a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Be well.