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Slow Down. You’re Screwing Up.

Did this crazy thing the other day. It was so out of character.

I went to the library.

They had a shelf called “great reads.”

Went over to it and ran my hand along the modest beat-up walnut.

One book stood out. It was old but I’d always wanted to read it.

“New notifications” said my cellphone and then it started beeping. Texts.

Annoyed, I put it away.

As a kid, time seemed to crawl.

Now, many years later, I realize the value of slowing down.

This month’s Harvard Business Review has a cover story called “The High-Intensity Workplace.” It’s about the strategies people use to deal with an unreasonably demanding environment, which is to say most workplaces these days.

Briefly, they either

– Go along and lose their personal lives;

– Pretend to go along and burn out along the way, ultimately burning out from the stress; or

– Admit that they’re not automatons and get punished. 

Boy have things changed in just a few decades. And there isn’t even a reward for it.

Why exactly are we in school day and night, chasing degrees that yield debt but not a job?

Why are we ignoring our families to work on…name it. Why don’t we make marriages and kids in the
first place? (No time.) Why are so many people divorced and then in unhappy relationships?

Why are so many people loudly unhappy at work, toxic to themselves and their colleagues?

Why are so many quietly unhappy, constantly answering this email and that email and doing this project and that and coordinating her meeting and his meeting and that initiative and this? Without any thank-you or appreciation. No reward other than “you keep your job?”

It’s a sunny day today and I enjoyed feeling the sun on my face, the wind blowing soft and fresh across my body.

If we could just slow down a little bit and leave ourselves alone. We’d be happier and more productive, too.

Here, I give you permission.


All opinions my own.


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