The first few times I ate with her, I found myself getting irrationally restless as I watched her take little, careful bites. Even though I had nowhere specific to be, I had this unblock-able feeling of rushing within me. Whenever I thought about the stuff I had to do, I had these butterflies in my stomach that fluttered with general stress, and always propelled me to 'hurry up!'
This is the same feeling that causes me, when I'm doing my required reading at 9 pm the night before class, to whizz over most of the words, barely reading them. It's the same feeling that makes me, when folding my laundry on a frazzled and frustrated Sunday night, dump my un-folded clothes in drawers with an exasperated slam. It makes me set my alarm to 7:30 on Sunday mornings because I'm convinced I won't ever have enough time to do my homework, and then briefly hate myself if I sleep until 9.
These may seem like small and insignificant examples, but I'm starting to learn that they add up. When you rush through all of life's little moments, you get used to a constant feeling of stress and slight panic. And those kinds of feelings can affect the big moments, too.
Having said all that, I have gotten exponentially more chill since high school. Ages 14-17 for me were clouded by a special kind of underlying panic and feeling of having no time: a ballet kind. It went like this: "I only have 4 years/ 2 years/ 3 months until I graduate and have to become a professional ballet dancer. And I have so much to do."
Spoiler alert: I didn't do it all, and I didn't become a ballerina. Now in college, ballet class doesn't make me feel nearly as panicked.
In whatever instance, big or small, it all comes back to the same phenomenon: feeling like I have too much to do, and too little time to do it.
So, I rush. I fast-walk to the student union and inhale a big breakfast in six minutes so that I'm five minutes early to class. I make constant to-do-lists and updates in my planner when I should be paying attention to videos we watch in class. I "watch netflix" with my laughing friends, while typing away at an essay on my computer and not really paying attention to what's so funny. I walk from class to class, under tree-tops full of pinkish blossoms, frantically responding to emails on my phone.
Since coming to college, I've become a whole lot more aware of my rushing. I realize just how often I have this 'buzzing' feeling inside of me, how often I complain about 'having so much to do' (even if it's actually a pretty doable amount), and how much I skim over things, making them feel messier and lazier and less prepared. I call myself a 'messy perfectionist' because of my tendencies to somehow be both a frazzled mess and a meticulous planner. But really, a more accurate term is probably 'rushed perfectionist.' I'm such a perfectionist that nothing has time to be perfect.
Lately, I've been trying to slow down a bit and do everything, even the little things, with more intention. Everything feels a little better when it's more purposeful.
I'm trying to go to breakfast earlier and take my time eating. I'm trying to put more care and intention into the little everyday things I do, such as when I'm washing my hair in the shower, brushing my teeth, going through my skincare routine, folding my clothes. This may sound kinda stupid, but if you're a really rushed person you'll understand. Being more intentional with the everyday actions you do anyways is a great way to consciously remind yourself to slow down.
You have time.
That's what I keep reminding myself, lately.
This is true with the little things (like statistics homework and folding clothes and writing blogs), when I remind myself that not everything needs to get done in one evening, and somethings can wait until tomorrow. I don't have to feel guilty just because I didn't finish something by an arbitrary early deadline I wrote in my planner. And I don't have to rush.
This is also true for the big things, like wanting to be healthier or more mindful or more confident or picking up a new skill. You have time.
You really do. So take your time.
Do you ever feel really rushed when you've got a lot of stuff to do? How do you manage? Have you ever tried being more mindful/ intentional in the little things you do?