We Need To Slow Down
That's how long I spent coughing between August and September in 2016. 35 long days of coughing, inhalers, and doctor's visits.
My worst asthma flare up in over 5 years. It knocked me down hard and limited what I was able to do for several weeks (I am just now able to get back into my exercise schedule).
Asthma, and allergies, are simply not any fun at all. But over this 5 week period I was reminded of an important lesson that I can forget all too easily:
Rest is essential for each and every one of us.
About 3 weeks into my flare up, I made a really stupid mistake. I tried to jump back into my normal, fast-paced schedule (and reduced some of my medications) before I was fully healed.
Can you guess what happened?
Right, I went downhill again.
I was forced to shut down my life and schedule completely and (re-) increase my medications in order to avoid ending up in the hospital.
It was very inconvenient (I couldn't walk from the living room to the kitchen without coughing and getting short of breath), created a pile of work waiting for me once I returned, and - most serious to me - kept me from spending much time at all with my family and friends.
As an extreme extrovert and Type A personality, it was torture.
But I was forced to do nothing but rest. (The threat of a hospital stay is super effective.)
Now before you go and start judging me for being a hard-headed male (though I probably am), how many of us do not slow down in life until something goes haywire?
We constantly see these type of scenarios in people's lives:
- A couple going to marriage counseling only after their relationship has completely imploded.
- Leaders stepping out of their positions only because of a moral or ethical failure.
- Friends who only leave their job after they have burned out (or were fired because their employer identified their burnout before they did).
- Loved ones who only prioritize time with their children after they have already burned that bridge through lack of time and attention.
So often the pain in our lives could have been avoided, right?
But, all too often, we are too busy to realize the cracks starting to form in our lives and our relationships - until it is too late.
I have been reminded of what I need to prioritize - and who I need to prioritize. (i.e. I decided to spend time with some good friends last week over finishing this blog post when I had been planning on publishing it)
Slowing down is something that I am not good at. But I am working on it.
I've been reminded that life is not a sprint and that I care much more about who I journey through life with over what I can accomplish along the way.
So what about you? Are you running the race of life too fast? Are you leaving your loved ones behind in the dust of your accomplishments?
What can you do to slow down this week? Comment below and share your ideas with others.
What are you waiting for?
...and slow down.