Live Woman Slowing

I don’t mean to sound dramatic here, but I have converted to a slower, more mindful way of life. Along with that commitment comes a whole host of changes, such as resisting the urge to do two or more things at once, start one project, then jump to another, or go, go, go until I fall face first into the bed.

It’s been a long row to hoe. I know I’m not alone. There are others who struggle with the same thing.

Achievement addict is a term David Bohl uses to describe someone who only feels good when he or she is achieving something grand like drafting architectural plans for a new monument in Rome or learning ancient Greek whilst sitting in on a spin class (you know – the stationary mountain bike torture session at your local gym with other people who sport calves of steel?).

I have been known to be goal-oriented. And that’s admirable as long as you aren’t killing yourself in the process. Yesterday, after a surprisingly brief client call, I looked about my office and realized the children were gone and I had nothing else to do. Suppressing a lurking panic attack, I strolled through the house in hopes of stumbling upon something that needed my dire attention.

slow downEven the guinea pigs seemed to ignore me. They were content to gnaw on their hay with a look of practiced indifference.

I felt my descent to hell begin. I could almost feel the escalator vibrate under my feet.

What was I going to do?

Then it occured to me. I could do nothing. Stare at the wall. Listen to the encouraging sound of birds chirping outside my window. Just be.

That lasted about ten minutes. It felt good to dangle my feet from the hammock and consider why I felt so driven.  My legs jiggled, then swooped over the hammock’s edge, carrying me forcefully back into the house. Like a phoenix rising from its bed of ash, I saw it: the project I’d been waiting for. Stepping forward gingerly, I peered into the depths of my son’s room. One sniff was all it took, and I plunged into the shadows with vigor and vim. Pulling rotting clothing from his toy box, pushing away dirt with a broom, I culled, sifted, sorted, and selected until his entire room sparkled. The spring-like scent wafted out his door into my daughter’s room, another place to tackle with delight. Before I knew it, I was involved, connected, and clear: we all need a sense of accomplishment. Some need it more than others, and it comes in different forms for everyone.

Dead Man Walking was another movie. This one’s mine.


  1. slowfamilyliving

    June 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I find the 10 minutes of stillness totally rejuvenating and revving me up for what is next. It’s not about doing nothing, it’s about doing what we do with presence! For me that’s the big part of this equation!

  2. Willow Drinkwater

    June 18, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Yes. Presence. Loved skyping with you today, and seeing that blue sports car…and then went headlong smashing through the day getting real estate contracts signed, Stemplex to a friend whose joints were hurting, bills mailed,dinner made, and now time to read your wonderful blog. The best part of the day!

  3. Christine Hohlbaum

    June 18, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Thank you, Bernadette. Being with presence – I like that!

    Sounds like you had a busy day, Willow. Let’s tale those moments of presence and cherish them. They are indeed all we have!

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    June 18, 2009 at 9:20 am

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