The other day I realized that my online reading habits have changed. I used to read all the way to the end of an article. Now I read the first sentence of each paragraph and if the first sentence grabs my attention, I will read to the end of the paragraph, but rarely do.
And then last week I had a conversation with my book editor. She said I need more white space and have shorter paragraphs. She is a well-known editor and so I took her advice seriously.
I reflected back on my writing and often I had seven sentences in a paragraph. If I was to read my own stuff, I would miss much of it due to my current style of reading the first sentence only.
But then I got to thinking of other areas of my life and what I am just getting an abbreviated version.
Start with my marriage. I listen with half an ear. I ask how my husband’s day was but I am not really listening. I don’t speak geek. I have tried. We have been together for 30 years. Believe me, I have tried. He now gives me the cliff notes version of his day and I try to listen and not think about what I am making for dinner.
And then I look at the stack of books I am currently reading but not finishing. Oh and I also have a few books on audible that I am listening too as well and not finishing. And I like listening to podcasts too. But I have to admit, if the podcast is over a certain length I won’t listen to it. The short ones I can complete.
I remember asking a friend who was a doctor if I had ADD. She told me no, that I simply have been a busy mom of three with no time to slow down.
So this fall I am challenging myself to slow down. To savor my house and my life.
I started this weekend by starting an organizing project in my own house. Not only did I complete it but I expanded it to three rooms. Normally I would just quickly attack the project and leave it undone for months at a time, usually throwing the unfinished items to sort in a basket for another day. But sadly another day never came.
This weekend the rooms were done and it felt great. Items were dropped off for donation. Pictures were snapped and sent to my kids who are at college to see if they wanted anything. Returns were made to stores for items that needed returning. And items that needed to be given to people were boxed up and mailed off! Such an amazing feeling.
I went on a walk today and listened to my audio book. While I drove I had my audio book playing. I am bound and determined to finish this book before I start the next one. Ironically the book is titled “Year of Yes” all about saying “yes” to things that you would normally say “no” to.
The last two weeks I have been scheduling time for coffee and lunch with friends who I have missed. I am now a professional listener. I ask questions and simply listen. I put my phone away. Unless I take a photo of us, then my phone comes out. I am slowing down.
In a society of instant gratification and thirty second cat videos, I ask you to slow down. Join me and let’s start a revolution of slowing down. All it takes is a deep breath and a willingness to start.
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa is a Productivity Consultant and author living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!
Melissa’s e-book on Kitchen Organizing can be found on Amazon.