Life in the Fast Lane

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. Mae West

Boy, it has been a hectic couple of months….

(Photo credit: Gallivanting Gai)

I don’t know how I get myself into it (well, yes I do!), but every now and then I have a schedule that is just a complete whirlwind. I run from one thing to another, changing clothes like a magician, grateful that I don’t have too stressful a job or I’d never be able to keep up with my own social life.

Why do I do this? I’ll tell you. I don’t want to miss one exciting moment. I want to say YES to it all; the action, the fun, and sometimes, yes, the responsibility.

A blogger friend of mine wrote a post last week and I swear she was reading my mind. Her post was called “ENOUGH”. It was perfect. I needed to read it; to remember to slow down, to savor the moments of joy and gratitude in my life. I was finding myself rushing, rushing, rushing. One day I thought, what the heck is the big hurry?

Lately, in addition to or in spite of my full schedule, I have been pondering some big questions. Asking myself, is my life ok, is it meaningful, am I killing myself softly with all this craziness, do I need a change from M&M’s to peppermint patties?

Just kidding…..(but I do love peppermint patties!)

What inspired the pondering is a book I’m reading.  Anna Quindlen’s latest bestseller “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” is the first AQ book I’ve ever read. I love her already. She pulls out her gutsiest thoughts and plunks them down on paper, writes in amazing honesty, and makes some darn good observations.

So good in fact that she is inspiring me to do some deep thinking. I am reflecting on lots of interesting stuff. My life, my quirky habits and what makes me tick. Here’s a few revelations I just have to share.

I am at my best when I am creating. Taking bits and pieces and pulling them together and making something wonderful out of it all. It doesn’t matter if it’s an amazing event, a new business, chicken soup or a craft project, I am best left without directions and no hot glue gun.

And, I like to teach and to lead. I like to inspire, motivate and cause a change. Positive change that is. Lead from the front after all.

My mother (Katherine) was a serious homemaker, the best really at cooking, cleaning, entertaining and organizing. My father (Mike) was pure salesman, through and through, and he loved to lead, direct, manage and inspire. Perhaps I am a combination of both of them, their (I hope) finest qualities, including the attraction to sweets my mother has evidently passed onto me.

What does this latest revelation tell me? Maybe I have my hand in the pot of each one of my parents. My mother handled her own schedule and commitments, and my dad handled his separately. I wonder if my life is pulled from both of theirs? Magic homemaker (wannabe) on the one hand, project manager on the other. I wonder how many of you reading this are combinations of your mom and dad (or primary caretakers), burning the candle at both ends?

No wonder we are a tired lot. This world is so fast, so busy, so full of stuff to DO. How do I keep it in perspective? First, I count my blessings. I have a full life; family, friends, children, grandchild, amazing partner in Mr. Cain. Second, I can’t stand to be bored. So, when too many activities start to fill my plate to the brim, I knock a few off and slow down just a bit.

Thank goodness it’s the perfect weather for kicking back. I made a big pot of chicken soup last night (no recipe!) and I can’t wait to have a big bowlful of it.

How do you slow down? (or speed up?) How full do you like your plate? Do you ever realize (and give yourself credit) for your strong points? I know…so many questions! Just pick one and tell me your deepest thoughts!

Join me on my graceful journey.

12 Replies to “Life in the Fast Lane”

  1. You are such an inspiration! You have motivated me to make some much needed changes in my life! I can’t thank you enough for the help you have given me! Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us when we were in town! How do I slow down? Um, I don’t know! I think I do that by reading, writing and creating also. I love making dream catchers and the new Steeler ones I am making are pretty awesome! I think I am 100% my mother. She never stopped. Her feet hit the floor early every morning and she didn’t slow down all day. That’s me. I am not involved in many different events, I am just busy here with the grand kids and keeping up with the cooking and cleaning and meal planning and well, you know how it is! Writing has always been my outlet and I have started journaling along with my fiction writing. Maybe I should blog…
    My strong points? Caretaking. My weakest point? Enabling. There is a fine line between the two and I am always stepping over it! I don’t think I slow down during my day, I think I ease into it by having my quiet time with my coffee before I have to deal with people!
    Tomorrow starts a whole new chapter in my life and maybe I will have more to say after that.

    1. Cathy, It is great to hear from you. I am happy to hear you desiring a change. Whatever your dreams, they can become a reality. Just take one step at a time and keep moving forward! xo Joanne

  2. How full do I like my plate, is a very good question?
    I love when I have alot to do. I feel more fulfilled & satisfied! But then on the other hand, there are times when that plate is overflowing. It is then, that I realize something has got to give & I don’t want it to be me. So I have to re-evaluate & decide what are the important things to me. It sounds crazy, but usually, I can handle that plate until life throws a curved ball. I am usually stressed then! I think it is then, that I realize I can’t do everything! That is when I especially pray to God to help me let go & let God! I need to remind myself that God is in control & not me! You see, I am a slow learner & have to repeat this lesson often!
    Thanks again, Joanne for another great blog & more food for thought! Take care & keep writing! Another one in the fast lane with you,

    1. Hi Linda, It is great to hear your comment! I agree, God is the event planner; we simply follow the lead. I do think we can make choices though and putting ourselves front and center (and quitting when we are too tired) is the only way to keep up the pace. Thank you! Joanne

  3. How do I slow down? Actually today, when I was enjoying a cup of coffee and reading your blog…… a couple words………didn’t slow me down, they stopped me in my tracks. “a blogger friend of mine”……..yep, that did it. You managed with a few chosen words to form a lump in my throat. I like that I have slowed down enough, to take the time to write on my blog and read others blogs enough to become friends. I am grateful for having you in my life. Thanks so much for writing your thoughts. I learn something from you every time I stop by and relax and fall into your words. Slowing down a bit afforded me the luxury of making a new friend.

    1. Well, I meant what I said and your post last week came at exactly the right moment. It was meant for me (!) and it really helped me along. Thank you for being my friend and have a wonderful day!

  4. Here’s the LOL irony of this answer…I’m in a hurry to answer because I have to rush back to work. The world around me is in a hurry to go no where. And usually when we work for the man we are bound to a schedule that is far beyond what our bodies, minds and spirits were meant to be. But when we work for THE Man, then we find more balance and harmony in our lives. I am looking forward to the day I take my talents and work for The Man, the One who gave them to me in the first place, and honor Him with not just my talents but my time, my body and all the harmony He has to offer.

    I have a theory that if we learn to slow down, time will slow down too. At least to some degree. I’ve noticed that, and maybe you have too. Also, when we discover ourselves we usually discover God. It’s all connected.

    Well, have to go now…col…so have a great day discovering who you are, what you’re about, and the part of you that is uniquely Him.

    Marianne xox

    1. Marianne, you should write a blog post about this. So eloquently put and so right on. Yes, I too hope that someday I will work for HIM only. That would be awesome! In the meantime, I do feel like I’m on a journey of self-discovery! Thank you for being a part of it! xo Joanne

      1. Hi Joanne

        It sounds like you and I have alot in common, not just the roles that we inhabit, but also in our desire to explore the deep meanings in life.

        Like you I have a tendency to make my life busy. Perhaps I have done that out of a fear of standing still, having too much down time, not enough to do. Maybe I have been uncomfortable about meeting myself in those spaces.

        More recently I have been risking more of that down time, I have resisted the habit to fill and over fill my life. I have always been one who has gone out of the home to live my life, looked for activities out there to get involved with. I have a lovely home and yet sometimes I feel I am seldom in it.

        Funnily enough since I started blogging, I have been more interested in being home because I have something that engages me in in the home. I have also been learning about meditation for the last year or so and that has also steadied me a bit.

        It’s all a learning curve isn’t it? I look forward to staying in touch and comparing notes.

        Corinne at soulsnet

        1. Dear Corinne, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I too want to look deeper and spend more time with myself. I was always running, running, running. I loved to be busy. I still do, I just want to pick what I truly wish to spend my time on. I love your second paragraph. It is very honest and mirrors my feelings exactly.
          I look forward to staying in touch and comparing notes with you. Blessings, Joanne

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