It’s March 1, the day I’ve always considered to be Michigan’s ‘Official Day of Spring’, except this year I’m in Florida and it has been summer all winter. When we lived in Michigan, my husband and I always had a running debate regarding March. He thinks it is still winter and I’ve always been so happy to be out of February, I welcome the day. During my walks, I immediately start looking for crocuses and early daffodils and tulips to poke their heads out from under the melting snow. I watch the snow come, but melt quickly, leaving messy puddles of Michigan clay that I slosh through, thankful that it’s not ice. I savor those 50-degree days, taking my coat off and letting the warm-cool breeze hit my winter-starved skin. As the month ends, I look for buds beginning to pop on some of the early leafing trees and think about how they will be so beautiful in a month when they unfurl into the spring sunshine.
I’m in Florida now, where the grass always stays green and we have honest to goodness palm trees swaying in fresh ocean breezes. I left my job and Rob made arrangements to work remotely, we sold our house and now live in a smaller home in South Florida. I left a very busy job in Michigan and for the past 4 months, I’ve been working on just slowing down. I’m not sure about how successful I’ve been so far…my son married precious Rebecca and we shared in a joyful wedding in December. And we needed to move in and figure out where things are in our new town. And we’ve had some crazy fun visits with family and friends …and….and…. So you see that it really becomes ‘work’ to truly slow down. But I think that slowing down is a very important goal.
I’ve spent years scheduling myself down to the minute. Many times I’d have three things I would need to be doing all at the same time. I’ve done this my entire life–starting in high school, where my daily planner was so full that I’d write in tiny letters in the margins and over the date. I still have that planner…. Thirty-five years later, it was the same thing at the hospital, where I would run from the minute I arrived at 6:30 or 7 in the morning until later in the evening. Years and years passed and I just kept running.
Periodically, I take a long bike ride or a walk in the woods or watch the sandpipers skitter across the beach and suddenly the moment becomes just about whatever I am doing. Nothing else. I stay in the moment, relishing the beauty of the scene and feeling a precious peace that I never feel when I’m running.
My goal: Keep working on slowing down. Come along with me.