I’ve been running at full tilt for a while now.  I won’t even try to identify the last time I gave myself time to slow down.  I’m not complaining.  Just observing.  I like living fast.  In fact, I start going a tiny bit crazy if I live slow.

Example: In Spring of ’08, I only took 13 credits.  It was a bad idea.  That was my worst semester at Valley (Missouri Valley College, for those of you not in the know), as I recall.  Not in grades (as I remember, I achieved all A’s), but in mental, physical, and social health.  Because I was so very NOT busy, I ended up having a terrible semester.  I alienated some of my closest friends and had to do a great deal of explaining as to why that had happened.  There were genuine reasons I reacted the way I did, but they stemmed from the fact that when I am not busy–when I am not active–I am not a particularly nice person.  My reactions tend to be harsher and less reasonable.

I hate this about myself and I am trying my best to change that.  At the moment, the best I have been able to do about it is keep myself busy.  When not busy, I’ve tried to be more aware.  Since I don’t allow myself to be not busy often, I’ve not had as much practice as I would have liked.

This past week, however, I took a break.  I didn’t really blog (save last Monday’s Castle review), I didn’t go to any of my weekly activities, and I didn’t work the weekend.  This weekend, I read, helped someone move into their house for a couple hours (which mainly consisted of setting up a kitchen and a 7 year-old’s bedroom), went to a church, and performed in the last choir performance of the year.  My family and I started planning for the European adventure together (we’ve all been doing some planning on our own).  I took a break.

It felt marvelous.  It was good practice.  I felt strange and, yes, a little cranky.  I had things I wanted to do.  There was a play I wanted to take my sister to.  The books I read would have been annoying on a good day (more about that soon to be on the Awake  blog) and so they were made worse by the self imposed break.  BUT . . . when I woke up this morning, I felt amazing.  The feeling actually started last night right before I went to bed.  I had spent the week spending time with myself and that made a big difference.

Is my version of slow still kind of fast?  Yeah.  Most people do not consider helping someone move into a new house “slow.”  Is starting the major planning for a major vacation really a break?  Maybe not to everyone.  However, in spending a week a little bit cranky because I wasn’t terribly active for me, I managed to revitalize myself for the final push.  I’ve given myself a place to start from.  And, much to my surprise, I did better this time around.  I actually managed to relax without being a total jerk.

This bodes well for my vacation.  I’m learning how to relax and be a good person.  I’m learning how to be the me I’ve wanted to be all along.