Slow down.

I tell myself this a lot. No, that’s not right. Who am I trying to fool?

My therapist describes my typical process as me getting into my driver. And when I’m in my driver, there’s no stopping me, even if I’ve made a bad decision. I haven’t given myself enough time to realize that it’s a bad decision and I don’t have bad ideas (honestly) so it’s not easy to conclude that just maybe this idea shouldn’t actually be pursued, that it’s best left in its initial dream state and that maybe I could explore it further on a Pinterest board but nothing more.

So, no. I don’t often have a conversation with myself along the lines of “You should really take things slow, relax a bit, remove some intensity from this moment.” Just writing all that was like trying to construct a sentence in French from scratch.

If I happen to experience that miracle of a conversation with myself, I quickly respond with, “I can’t slow down. In fact, I’m not doing enough.” Or, more likely, I don’t respond; I just keep moving.

Eventually, I drain all my reserves and I burn out.

But not anymore!

Okay, let me temper my excitement. What I mean to say is that I’ve been trying this new thing where I’m able to actually identify when I’m in my driver. Once I’m clear on my location, I’m then able to assess the emotions of the moment. It’s pretty amazing, actually. There’s this switch in my head that has been flipped up, enabling me to assess in real time what’s really happening.

It’s kind of like running into a Facebook friend and having an awkward, “Oh…hey!…you…” where you’re not sure if you should hug but you feel as if you should since you know everything about their kids and you’ve typed “praying” in the comments to their several posts about needing the Lord’s intervention. You’ve seen their latest fitness goals pursued and gained. You felt as if you were more excited than they with every milestone reached; their success is your success. But the last time you saw them in person was never because they’re a mutual friend of a really good friend who suggested y’all be friends. And you agreed. It sounded like a perfectly natural step to take three years ago on a sunny day.

So a bear hug seems both appropriate and like an absolute violation of privacy especially since you’ve forgotten their name. You know their politics. You know they’re Marie Kondo-ing their home. You know they just got back from a cruise. But you don’t know their dang name so you settle into the distant wave.

That’s how it feels to have these moments of great awareness–wonderfully awkward. One day, they’ll be second nature, right? I hope. I do.

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