Slow down experiment

Here's What I Learned from My Slow Down Experiment

I mentioned before that I am slowing things down this summer. I am trying to not over-schedule myself in order to be a little bit more spontaneous. The first of July was the first time in forever that I looked at my calendar and there was not one thing scheduled. Not one thing on the calendar and it made me want to weep for joy.

There is a great meme going around the interwebs from Buzzfeed-"31 Unmistakable Signs That You're an Introvert". While #1-31 all apply to me, this is the one that keeps me up at night:

Here's what happens when you give yourself a week of freedom.

  • Monday evening I did nothing but lay on the couch and catch up on important real world events, like the ones on the television show Falling Skies. I loved Noah Wylie as Carter in ER, seriously could he have been any cuter, but the Noah Wylie with the growlie voice, facial hair who gets into fistfights on Falling Skies is amazeballs. 
  • Tuesday night I rode my bike to meet my friend Amy who I had not seen in a year (she lives like half a mile from me-yeesh life gets in the way) and we went for a walk along the lake. I also managed to fix the bobbin in her sewing machine so she could start stitching.  
  • Wednesday I spent hanging out with friends in Avondale, who are more like family, eating pizza and catching up. Delightful. 
  • Thursday I slept in. Then rode my bike to the friend's house in Avondale and we had a picnic. Sitting up and eating was so tiresome I had to lay down. 

  • Friday I rode my bike to my friend Kristin's place in Boystown and she made me dinner. I know-right!
  • Saturday my fabulous friend Sarah came over for brunch and we sat and chatted about making our dreams a reality. This girl's job title should be Indie Publicist, Connector and Fairy Godmother. Saturday night Christina came by and we grilled some zucchini on the grill and had some vegi burgers with gluten free buns. First though I had to blow a fuse and find out there is a whole other part of my basement I didn't know about. Then we went for a ten mile bike ride along the North Shore Channel path. It was a beautiful ride with great company, lovely weather, beautiful sunset and fireflies lighting the way. 
  • Sunday is usually the day I make no plans and sometimes I don't leave the house, but I was feeling so energized that I went to a Zumba class. I then lay down on my couch and watched Mad Hot Ballroom, which is such a sweet documentary. I admire the passion of not only the kids, but the teachers and parents. 
Here are the top three things I learned from spending a week making no plans. 

  1. Holy crap I have a lot of amazing friends. No, seriously. I try to touch base with them but having impromptu #ladydates and picnics and biking all over the city makes me love them, and the city, just a little more. 
  2. I love my bike. In January of 2010 I wrote on my, now defunct, blog-
    "I have this image of myself riding a bike in a billowy summer dress, sitting upright with my hands on the handle bars and a baguette with a bottle of wine in the straw basket with flowers on the front of my bike." 
    While, my bike does not have the straw basket with flowers it suits me just fine. Back in the day I never would have imagined that I would ride a bike in Chicago let alone choose it as a form of transportation over my car.

  3. While I did spend my time out and about I felt so less stressed because I did not feel this overwhelming sense like the calendar owned me. I felt freer to say no to things if I felt like it, but often I did want to go out and meet up with people.  I felt so much less stressed out and over committed. 

Next week there are a couple of things tentatively penciled in on my calendar. I have not committed to them yet and if I do not feel like going then I don't have to go. That leaves time for more day-dreaming, bike rides and spending time with fabulous people. 

Originally published 7/8/13

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