I'm Done Hurrying │ Choosing to Live a Slow Life Amidst the Chaos

A view of a living room in a home
My Hobbit Home
I'm done with hurrying.

I don't know what the deal is, but there is an epidemic of hurriedness in our society and I'm a part of the problem. It's driving me crazy and I aim to do something about it.

Now! Quickly! While I can!

Okay, see... why is that the first thing I think of? In everything I want to do, whether it's reinstating my blog, unloading the dishwasher, or running errands (all fifteen of them), I don't want to slow down. 

I don't want to take it at a snail's pace. I want it now, and I want it fast. But, why? What is it about doing things slowly that hurts so much?

There are quite a few books on this subject and in fact, my sister-in-law recommended a book to me called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. I knew I needed to hurry up and read it as soon as she told me.

But being that I'm on a no-hurrying kick, I went to my library app (because I don't want to buy the book yet. If it's good and I can't live without it, I may put it on my Kindle), and put on a hold to read it. 

It's going to take nine weeks to finally get to me and I've got six weeks left to wait.

Again, no hurry because that's my aim for the rest of the year.

Or am I just fooling myself?

Before I begin down the rabbit hole of reading more about the "unhurried" lifestyle because that is what I'm after with my slow living and minimalistic lifestyle, I wanted to define (to myself) why I was always in a hurry.

Unfortunately, when I read a book on any subject, that person's concept, ideas, and even their intent and angle become a part of my angle. I don't try to do this. But the more I read topics that interest me the more it becomes a part of me.

So, I wanted to contemplate my issue of hurrying before reading about it. Why was I hurrying? If I could identify the parts of hurriedness that surround me - and why I think it needs to be ingrained in my life - then maybe that would help me before reading all the books.

Here's what I've realized:

I hurry because I'm doing too much. Without a doubt, I underestimate the amount of time it will take to do anything. And in all honesty, I add way too much to my to-do list for the day. It's absurd. I've talked about lessening my to-do list before because it's unrealistic to have more than a handful of important things to do every day. It's insanity, actually.

When I go out sourcing vintage clothing for my Etsy shop, I know I'll have to make about eight stops. That sounds egregious. Who does that? But between four thrift stores on my Tuesday sourcing day, I have Target, the post office, and the grocery store thrown in there, plus others. 

Now, I'm choosing the four thrift stores. That's my choice, but it's also my choice to hurry up and get through them. If I want to slow down, take my time, be methodical, and find what I'm looking for, slowing down is imperative. These days, I've gone down to three thrift stores instead, and I'll take out Target if I can get what I need at the grocery store.

This all sounds supercilious, I'm sure. But when my income is based on what I find to sell, there's an underlying hurriedness (because there are so many other resellers out there doing what I'm doing) and I'm ultimately afraid I won't find what I need because I was too slow getting there.

But, that's the wrong way to look at it. There is more than enough to go around and the slower I look, the more I can see what I'm truly looking at. Who am I really in competition with? Certainly not the other fellow vintage resellers. I may think I am, but I'm not. I'm in competition with myself.; I'm trying to prevent scarcity. I want to make sure I have enough.

But "myself" is unreliable. I'm reading a fabulous book called The Scarcity Brain  by Michael Easter. I'll have to write a post on this book later but it goes into detail about this and it explains so much of the world and our pacing. 

So, those vintage items have to be searched for. It's a treasure hunt and I love it. But hurrying through the thrift stores wreaks havoc on my nervous system. Slowing down heals it. There's more than enough and I can do less and still get what I need.

I hurry because I don't think I'll have enough time. This is kind of true and kind of not true. Again, I'd have plenty of time if I had a realistic to-do list. I write every day so I have two jobs to fit into my week (vintage and writing) and then the rest of the jobs in the home (cleaning, cooking, etc). If I truly believe I have enough time and make sure I'm not overworking my schedule, I have plenty of time.

But so often, I'm thinking about my writing schedule while I'm out thrifting for my vintage store and it elevates my anxiety, which in turn kicks me into overdrive. When I realize I'm doing this, I have to force myself to focus only on what's in front of me. I tell myself, "I have plenty of time" and I say this over and over to myself, and get back into the groove of slowing down but staying focused.

It works well. If I believe I have enough time, I do. If I make sure I'm not overloading my schedule, I'll have time. If I try not to be superwoman, I have time! Less is more. Even when we think we need to do more.

I'm also used to having kids that needed me. Drive them somewhere, buy them something, make them food, clean something up. They're old now, they don't need most of that anymore, but I'm still hurrying as if they did. I have plenty of time. I have plenty of time.

I hurry because I love getting back home. I think this is an introspective, introverted tendency. I love being out, love being social (for x amount of time) and then, I need to get back home. My home is my sanctuary. There's a reason I don't mind doing all of my work at home: I love my home. I'm a Hobbit: I love gardens and books, and the "my precious" for me is working with vintage textiles and writing. 

I feel like Bilbo Baggins and I would've been great friends. (If you haven't read The Hobbit, read it and then watch the movie.)

I also hurry so I can come home and do nothing. (I say nothing, but by nothing, I mean reading, resting, and looking at my curated collection of vintage mugs.)

Regardless, my home will wait for me. Yes, I want to get all of my errands done and get home to pour that coffee so I can write, but hurrying through it (as I've discovered) does nothing for my well-being. Zero good comes from hurrying from place to place.

If I lessen my daily workload, tell myself I have enough time, and understand that I will get back home at the right time, that immediately calms my heart and slows my gait. I feel so much better. What needs to happen will happen. What's supposed to come to me will come to me. Hurrying through it all does nothing to change those outcomes. There will always be things to do. So, I'm giving it up.

I'm done hurrying.

If you're like me, you hurry too. What have you found that works for you? How do you make yourself slow down? Tell me what you do to slow down in the comments below. I'd love to know.


Books on UnHurrying:

In Good Time: 8 Habits for Reimagining Productivity, Resisting Hurry, and Practicing Peace.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-Hurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farmgirl

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  1. Heather, so appreciated this post. Every week I try to carve out a couple of "at home" days when I don't have any errands, appts. or social activities and I literally do not leave the house. That helps me slow down and appreciate the simple things in life. For me (like you!) that includes writing, gardening and vintage stuff. 😁

    1. I love hearing this! Those "don't leave the house days" are so productive and good for the soul. ♥ I love how we love the same things.


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