It was the end of the day on Friday and we had just finished school. I had worked hard all week and was mentally spent. Fortunately, my housekeeper was there so I asked her if she didn’t mind if I left the children at home (to play quietly) while I went to exercise for an hour. Thankfully, that all worked out, so off to the gym I went.
Driving in the car by myself, listening to my music of choice was nice. Then, when I got to the gym I was looking forward to plugging in my ipod and hitting it hard with cardio for 30 min. (I am still trying to work off the 5 lbs. I gained on a vacation in February.) I situated myself on a Precor machine. I even found one available outside and it was a beautiful day. Things were all going well until I went to plug in my ipod and realized that instead of bringing the earphones, I accidentally picked up my husband’s ear bud for his phone. Ugggh! There went my music time and part of my motivation to stay on one of those “torture” machines for a full 30 minutes. But, no, I was going to persevere! I decided I was going to do my full 30 minutes and reflect on my own life. This sounded good and I was glad that I wasn’t inside where I would have been bombarded by televisions. At least outside, with the fresh air, I could think.
The other day I read a blog by David Murray entitled, God’s Been Hunting Me Down (see it at http://headhearthand.posterous.com/gods-been-hunting-me-down). This blog hit home with me in many ways as I am a very productive person. I have always been a doer and as a result have been able to accomplish and succeed and many things in life. Although, I realize that this is a God-given strength, but just like any virtue, it can be my vice too. One of the points he made in his article was to “slow down”. He resolved to eat slower, drive slower, and just live at a slower pace. With homeschooling three children, and one child that seems to operate on fast-forward, this was very appealing. I would love to slow down. I would love to have more margin time. I would love to have more time like right now …to just think. (Okay true, I was on the cardio machine.)
I know that life needs balance and the only person who is going to give that balance to my life, is me. The only way I will be able to slow down is to say “no” to people, to activities, and to opportunities. However, I have to be cautious not to fall into the foolishness of extremes. This doesn’t mean I have say no to everything, but rather insure that the doing in my life is what I want (or ought) to be doing. I only have so much time. I need to choose wisely, not just try to pile on more and then work harder. I need to make rest and refreshment a priority. That is the only way I can live slower. Then, what I do, I will do well. To me that is much better than trying to do more. I am always telling my children to slow down their reading, writing or piano playing so that they can do it well. I could learn from my own advice.
After this lovely time of reflection I looked down and realized I had finished my 30 minutes. I began to slow down to get off the machine and when I did I looked at the display. It was blinking adamantly “PEDAL FASTER”. I looked at the machine and said out loud, “NO”. Then I got off.