Note to self from an achievement addict (in recovery)
I did so much. So many lists ticked off, so many ‘achievements. I did them like everyone was watching but no one was. I spun so many plates and when they smashed no one heard and I just had to clean up the mess.
I remember the bitter-sweetness when I finished my law degree two years ago at losing that "big thing" to list off when asked the ‘what do you do?’ question. Now I was just a solo parent and a business owner. Was that enough to not fade away? Was that enough to be ‘seen’?
I have had so many signs to slow down. Exhaustion, mood swings, brain fog. But I couldn’t. No... wouldn’t.
I talked about taking breaths but I held my breath when they weren’t watching. I made rituals that gave me ease but sandwiched them between doing, so they became another thing on my checklist of achievements. I never waited for the light to green to cross and as I showered I listed off how many things I could do while I dried. I enjoyed the 1st two sips of my coffee but missed the rest as I reached for my phone. I listened to him with one ear when what he needed was two. I scheduled ‘special time’ and quiet time and I didn’t know why I had to live like this until I got forced to slow down on Sunday.
So, here I am, and now I really know why. Because underneath all the checklists and the doing, I feel a deep, deep sadness. And it’s here, sitting with me right now in my slowness. I have laid a place for it at my table and together we will notice each other in the quiet, maybe we will even finish writing that book I got too ‘busy’ to finish.
I got a lesson in slowing down and I am determined to listen. To the lesson. To my heart. To the wind. To him, with both ears. To the beautiful, painful details that I have missed for so long.