Between the ages of about twelve and twenty, whenever I spoke with my mother over the phone, she would inevitably tell me at some point in our conversation to slow down.
Seriously, all I need to do is just sit here and close my eyes, and I can actually hear her voice, pleading for respite from the verbal onslaught – my machine gun volley of words.
“HOLD IT!” She would exclaim. “Hold it! I can’t understand a single thing that you are saying!”
I would, of course, laugh to myself, or perhaps let out one of those larger than life exasperation-heavy sighs, so well-cultivated and practiced by the teenage set, before jabbering on a like a monkey in a tree.
Maybe I’d slow my speech a tad (though it is unlikely) because the news of my latest exploits, or how cute the boy I danced with was, or could she please come pick me up like right now because I am freeeeeezing – well, these were pieces of news of such importance, that if I didn’t push my words out of my mouth as fast as I possibly could, their significance might be forever lost, and my life would end, and I would have to cede the title of “most fascinating teenager EVER” to the next fastest-talking teen (aka my little sister.)
Or something in that regard.
Why, you might ask yourself, am I telling you all this?
The answer, my friends, is because there are a few areas in my life in which I am going to try to slow the heck down.
I am going to breathe. And then breathe again.
Seriously, from this day out, my goal is to make a conscious effort to take five, (or smell the roses, or drive the scenic route, or whatever) in the following three areas of my life, because my need for speed is mucking things up and it’s starting to grind my gears.
Let’s dive right in:
1.) Proof reading my blog posts.
So. I love this blog. Like, SO MUCH.
And I love writing. But I’ve never loved reading my writing with a critical line-edit eye. In fact, I really can’t stand the slow once over, nor do I enjoy reading my work out loud (in a proof reading sense.)
This always came back to bite me in the butt during my uni days. I would always need to option out the final edit of my essays to lovely, selfless friends (or, you know, Mr. M, who – to his credit – was responsible for overviewing approximately 97.4% of my typo-free academic work).
If I didn’t put my stuff through this last minute check, then I was doomed to the “[insert positive feedback here – but would have benefited from one last final proofread]” professorial comment.
Urg. How I hated that comment.
A huge better-late-than-never apology to all of my professors!
It’s just that after immersing myself full-tilt in the subject matter, and then spending a crap-load of time crafting a sweet, sweet argument, and then writing a sweet, sweet paper, the thought of reading over my words one more time after all of that effort, actually made me feel as though my brain was bleeding out of my ears.
There is really only so much critical analysis a young gal can handle.
Anywho, what I’m trying to say is that this academic habit of mine has now translated into the horrible trend of not checking over these posts before hitting the fatal “publish” button. This leaves me scrambling for quite a while afterwards (depending of course of the post), cleaning up all my nit-picky errors – most of which are a result of typing too fast.
See folks! Again, what do I find myself doing? Pushing out ideas that I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT as quickly as I possibly can, without fully acknowledging that the people who will actually be reading these posts need to actually, you know, understand what it is I am trying to communicate.
Mom! You were right all along!
But I’m working on it.
2. Eating too fast when I am hungry
Especially if the food is mega-tasty.
Now, to be fair, I’m of the mind that when you’re hungry enough, anything will taste good.
(My earliest memory pertaining to this theory is from the age of six, when my mom picked me up from my piano lesson and was driving me to my next activity – highland dancing practice. I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch that day at school and she offered me a banana flavoured granola bar.)
At that time in my life I pretty much equated “banana” with horse manure, so you can imagine my reticence at scarfing that bad boy down.
But the rumble in my tummy persisted, and my resolve broke, and as I gobbled up that bar, I so clearly remember thinking “wow, this tastes AMAZING!”
Today at lunch I ate these scrumptious fish tacos:
However, because the majority of my morning was comprised of working with my hair on fire, followed by a lunch hour – which actually wasn’t made up of lunch, but a brisk walk across downtown Vancouver and back with J (which was beautiful and hilarious and fab.)
By the time I bought my food and sat down at my desk I was so ravenous I practically inhaled my meal.
And although the tacos were insanely tasty, it really reminded me that I need to make an effort to chew, chew, chew, when I am hungry.
Because when I hoover everything like the food vacuum I can so easily become, I not only give myself stomach aches, but I practically induce myself into a taco coma.
A “TACOMA” if you will.
3. Developing crushes on famous people (mainly a British problem)
I will watch some dude in one tv show for thirty seconds and immediately I’ll get all shirty over him. This doesn’t happen very often (which is probably why I feel so funny when it does).
It’s a bit ridiculous really.
But luckily, these infatuations are all incredibly short-lived, and often fizzle out before the week is out.
I am going to renege on this point.
Because I am okay with it.
I like my silly little crushes. (And I’m pretty sure they like me too.)
So there you have it! Two areas where I am making a conscious effort to cool my jets.
And in the mean time, I am going to wear my new skirt until it is runs thread-less and bare (and I am incarcerated for indecent exposure.)
And what about you folks? Is there anything in your lives where speed is killing you? Let me know, and we can swap tips on how to best employ the brakes.
P.S. If there are any typos in this (or any future) post, don’t tell me about them. I’ll find them eventually.
31 thoughts on “Would you just take it easy man?”
Oh honey, I can *SO* relate…I type too fast, I think too fast, and I generally move too fast, therefore causing the physical version of the “typo”, which is the elbow-bang, the toe-stub, the head-bump, the epic cases of “dropsies”, and the mug-to-mouth tooth bash. It’s a wicked, wicked cycle. Anywho. Love your outfit, love your yellow (lime? canary? it’s hard to tell…) bag, love you. xx
You are so wonderful, I cannot explain to you how much this comment made me smile. The head bump, YES! And I also walk so fast around my office I regularly stampede my shorter colleagues. It’s pretty bad actually, I think they fear for their lives…
It’s a lemony-yellow purse and I am madly in love with it at the moment. My piece of spring I carry with me everywhere :)
Oh, the eating too fast – I know! If I’m going to dinner and know the dessert is going to be the highlight, I will literally INHALE my meal so that my stomach doesn’t know it’s full right away and I can pack the dessert in. I did that once with a large pulled pork sandwich (for a large piece of pecan pie) at Memphis Blues once and the manager actually made fun of me. In front of other customers. But you know what? PIE IS WORTH IT.
PIE IS ALWAYS WORTH IT. And you and I are one and the same. It’s always a good idea beforehand and then afterwards I feel like I am going to explode. Mmmmm, Memphis Blues poutine… (with the meat on the side for my husband to eat by himself….)
You may be asking the wrong person whether they’d like to spend more time in front of a computer than they have to…! Ditto reading through stuff, editing stuff… red ink flows in mah VEINS, honey!! But yeah, I do get it about going too fast, despite all that.
And, 1linereview, my gosh I’m happy to meet someone else who does that mug-to-teeth-bash – I thought I was the only klutz in the world to do something so monumentally painful and stupid over and over again!
Thanks lady! And I think you should use that metaphor of red ink – blood – what a fab, fab piece of imagery!!
Plus everything that comes flowing from your fingers on your computer is hilarious as heck (and no typos that I ever spot) so I think you’re doing just smashingly. :)
You are excited about life, so I say enjoy it at any speed!
This totally made me smile. And I definitely think you are right :)
Glad it made you smile on your journey! Enjoy the people in your life and the experiences along the way.
Enjoyed reading your post! Haha I am generally too fast when it comes to tennis. I get too excited and I miss the point… but over all I think I take my time with things. I used to be really fast when it came to exams and tests. Now I know I gotta cool down and take it easy, chill, and then enjoy the paper, rather than getting all nervous.
Thanks Maria! And I totally know what you mean about over shooting it when playing tennis. I always, always do that when I try and smash at the net. Too overzealous, always!!
And I also definitely know what you mean about test anxiety – glad it’s better better on your end :)
Tacoma. Good one Eth!! I hear ya on the proof reading. It’s key. Sometimes it’s even a good thing to write a post, leave it for a day, and then come back and read it again with fresher eyes… If you can.
Sometimes we are all given reminders that we need to slow down. My reminder came in the form of a torn ACL 13 years ago : / …. That sucked. But it taught me to be patient and stop running around like a headless chicken. Not that that lasted forever :) ba GOCK!!!!
I actually laughed out loud at the end of your comment. Hilarious! Ow, ow, ow, I’m sorry to hear about the torn ACL. My sister did that in grade ten and I would never wish that on another living soul. It’s such a brutal injury. But glad to know it hasn’t permanently slowed you down :)
Hmmm, taking a day and then going back in a great idea. I don’t know if I would be able to actually do it, but it’s good food for thought.
Ha, I know what you mean. When I find the time to actually write something I want to actually POST something… it’s sort of like shopping online. It’s fun to browse, but it’s oh so fun to hit the “complete purchase” buttom =) BA GOCK
I always notice 45 mistakes after I publish a post … even though I’ve gone into the preview screen 400 times during the writing process. Oh, and celebrity crushes? Perfectly okay in my book.
can definitely relate to the talking too fast! Also I’m in love with your yellow purse!! Is it still in stores??
I remember having some conversations at work where we were approaching warp speed!!
And YES! Still in stores. H&M and it’s only $30!! Buy it!
Your #3 scared me – don’t do that! Life just isn’t the same without senseless celebrity crushes.
Personally I keep telling myself I really really really need to slow down the library book thing. I keep telling myself that even as I comb through my “saved for later” list and the rest of the catalogue and keep thinking “well, just one more…”
My own issue with reading my own writing is I could nitpick it for eternity and still be unhappy with it. I hate how much I use commas (here come some right now! —>), I change my mind constantly between “this sentence is good” and “what the fuck was I thinking?”, I rearrange my paragraphs until I forget what the hell a topic even is, and I spend half my time chiding myself for cussing too much and the other half for trying to censor myself for using adult words in an adult’s journal that nobody’s even reading anyway. I could go on but I’m afraid of using more commas.
I burst into laughter when I read your last line. OKAY I SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD JUST SAYING HOW FUNNY YOU ARE OVER AND OVER BUT! I cannot help it. Seriously lady, you slay me.
And no worries, those crushes are here to stay. I probably couldn’t get rid of them if I tried!
Hmmm, I definitely know what you mean on the book front. I go through periods that I call my “book binges.” I practically overdose and then need to take a little rest to catch my breath (I’m in one of those right now actually.)
I also totally get the “what the WHAT was I thinking there?” It’s a mark of a super awesome intelligent person I think :)
As long as you know that your posts consistently send me into giggle fits and moments of “oh my god, me too!”, I think we’re even. :)
Also: It’s a mark of a super awesome intelligent person I think :)
I love your brain. It is obviously super awesome intelligent.
I won’t tell you what I found then… I tend to have a few typos but a whole lot of tense issues and I just learned how to make links work a couple weeks ago. Liz (my compatriot at Unnecessary Words) does the fine tooth comb thing on most of my posts for that site but on my personal blog all kinds of fun nonsense gets through.
I corrected the writer of another blog on his spelling of Whedon (I am a nerd…) and he seemed annoyed. As a result, I try to refrain from pointing out the things I notice.
While not traditionally clumsy or oafish, I am a big dude with a high pain tolerance (thanks Elder Brother!) so I consistently bash into stuff as I walk. I often get questioned by The Wife about what I did to myself and I typically have no idea. I have about five fresh red cuts right now on my arms and am basically covered head to toe in scars. One of the days I will learn to pay attention where I am going.
Thanks for taking pity on me! And fun nonsense is the best nonsense. Though having friends help you out is an invaluable service too.
Oh jeeze, I totally get the klutz thing. I am constantly covered in bruises and I never have a clue where I got them. Also, because I’m 75% legs, I’m constantly whacking my hip bones on things. It hurts like hell.
He got upset over the spelling of Whedon? That’s not on.
Its hard to say for sure, but it certainly seemed that way. I am kinda laid back to a fault; so it may have just seemed like he was annoyed (its hard to read tone in comments…).
living in a fast lane … i’m running, biking, swimming, eating, drinking, smoking to fast … mmhh shit im writing to fast … i stopped smoking 9 months ago for the reason that i can running faster … but the hell i’m living once ;-)
Exactly! I’m all about running after your passions. And congratulations on quitting smoking! That’s awesome!
Your blog made me laugh! Like.
Thanks J.D.! Glad you enjoyed it :)
Everytime I read one of your new posts I’m like: “Omg! Me too!” Are you my sister from another mister? Oh and I can totally relate to the editing thing. By the time the end of an essay comes I’m so euphoric (and jittery from copious amounts of coffee) that I speed read over it in my attempt to have it gone from my sight. I really should work on that…
But seriously, it has been a tiring day and after arriving home feeling down-trodden, your blog has put a huge smile on my face. Thanks!! :D <3
Sisters from a different mister – that makes me really happy! And heck, if I can make anyone feel better, well that makes my little heart smile! I’m sorry that you had a bit of a through-the-wringer-day yesterday – I hope today is much better :)
Haha, YES! The last speed-read. Let’s write a book called “A Cautionary Tale…”
Haha, after mentioning talking too fast, I started to read the post reeeally fast. Your energy is definitely contagious!
Ah, the busyness! This seems like a real curse and struggle in Western society at large. Everytime I travel and come back to the States it’s so blaringly obvious but when you’re in the thick of it it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Love that you’ve found a couple areas where you can work on slowing down and enjoying life – it’s awesome!
Life has so much for us in those small moments and it’s great to have time to take it all in. :) I’m trying to slow down with taking more personal time, saying no to some of the requests for my time, and attempting to get more than 5 hours of sleep each night. If you have any suggestions…
Fantastic post, love seeing your heart shine through when you write, Darling!