Slowing down, for the sake of life
Mis à jour : 26 août 2020
How do we know it is time to slow down? Apart from feeling exhausted most of the time, even grumpy, chasing after the minutes and having stopped enjoying the process of life itself?
Even then, we know we've got to slow down, and do we do so?
Often times we make major changes in our life when a sudden, very horrible event has come crashing our very own journey, hitting us in the face as to wake us up real hard: an accident, the loss of a loved one, a sudden diagnosis of illness, etc. Why do we wait til that happens?
I guess on my end I thought life was about being busy accomplishing myself, go go go, and it is how we get 'there', to success. I developed that habit of being busy; if there was a hole in my agenda, yes - go! let's fill it up with another commitment. I felt overwhelmed a lot of times, yet I'd be thinking that my plate was getting larger so I could take more and more - it was part of me expanding. I also had a sense that my life was full... and therefore less lonely. I was such on a single-woman-lifestyle-beat that I was even having a hard time finding moments to go on a date! Yet meanwhile, I was looking for 'The One'!
I realized I needed to make space for Him to show up - I did - and He did show up.
October 2017 is when we started dating. February 2018 is when we moved in together. March 2018 is when we got engaged. April 2018 is when we got the news I was pregnant - for the very first time of my life! What wonderful news (we did not even know it was possible)! July 2018 is when I got rushed to the hospital because my water broke...
After the first day of being hospitalized, I was told I'd stay there for a while, as we were trying to save the baby (I was 5 months pregnant). Not yet fully getting the magnitude of the matter with my pregnancy, I started worrying about what? Well, go figure, about all the events to come that I was scheduled for - like interpreting a full weekend course for 150 participants, 2 days from then!
I will always remember the moment the doctor said to me: "Now, you'll remove from your agenda all commitments and events you have scheduled until your due date in October. It will be important for the baby that you rest and stay bedridden".
Euhhhhh. No. I can't do that. You don't understand.
My heart started racing, my eyes bulged out, my mind went nuts! Im-pos-si-ble. Nope. I cannot stop everything. Put my life on pause? Can't happen.
And yup. It did happen. It had to. For saving my baby boy's life...
I used all my might to switch from a state of panic to responsibly step out of all commitments, removing them one by one (the recurrent ones too!) from my agenda... til October.
Now what? I'm onto the big game of saving my baby. How? By doing = NO-THING.
A brand new activity for me, that I practiced for 10 days straight, at the hospital. And then one evening, the doctor came to visit to give us not-so-encouraging news and ask us to make the hard choice to either A) keep going, trying to save the baby and risking uterine infection that could be fatal for the baby and for me as well or B) induce work to give birth and lose the baby, because it is too premature for him to survive. Despite doing all I could, which was to stay put in bed and only moving to go to the bathroom, there would be no good ending it seemed. And a part deep inside me knew that our baby boy's soul was one of the world - a grand human being who would not let us make that very difficult choice, by coming out on his own, without us inducing the birth.
30mns later, I gave birth to Bao, our son. And as they predicted, he did not survive.
I never went back to having such a jammed-packed schedule since that event. When we looked deeper, we saw that there was a good ending : my man and I, through such a deeply sad and traumatic event, got a huge revelation by having to press the 'pause' button on our lives. And we re-assessed every single engagement that existed in them, and undertook a real cleanup. Remove what we no longer are passionate about - reduce or eliminate the activities causing us stress and dissatisfaction, transform the ones we wanted to keep but knew change was necessary, added events aligned with the type of lifestyle we had just redefined for ourselves.
We slowed down, left the city and moved to our home in the country, right amidst nature.
My darling had 2 full time jobs; he quit one to focus solely on running his existing business. I quit mine and decided to work part-time in a Spa with a zen ambiance, close to home. We got married and traveled, then got a puppy. And mostly, we made space to simply enjoy life.
We still laugh when we think back at our agendas before we lost our baby; both of us had in there one evening a week called 'Lovers time', a moment for both of us to spend time doing couple activities (a movie, going for a walk, etc.). Oh! And we lived together ; we were just too busy so we had to plan time together in our agenda!
We still can't believe we were both fine with this arrangement at the time. We both wouldn't see how fast-paced our lives was, so used to it we were. Of course now the foundation of our life is us rather than our activities. In other words, being and planning activities together became our basis, no longer a one-night-a-week time slot.
It's been 2 years exactly since we've adopted such a lifestyle and we still align to it. And that is when I transformed my life into real wellness and started to value the preciousness of every moment - and being present to them.
So then again, why wait to realize once life has passed us by to start living to the fullest? Let's begin today, now!, to enjoy it, as our own design, the way we want it to be. More importantly, let's not wait for a hard hit, a low blow, a deadly illness or a terrible loss to start taking the time to live...
Let's step into our wellness shoes! ;)