I was in a terrible rush yesterday morning when I was emptying the dishwasher. I had my reasons. I needed to reload it with dirty dishes before taking the dog out, before rushing to school, before…well, you get the idea.
I’d spent all week catching up from having been out of town last weekend, and from having been so busy before I went out of town, and from…well, you get the idea.
For a moment I forgot that rushing to accomplish too many tasks too quickly almost always ends in failure. And, in that moment, as I reached into the dishwasher to remove a glass, my finger grazed the sharp side of a metal grater, which was carelessly loaded too closely to the glasses.
It’s not a terrible injury. It could have been much worse.
My now-bandaged left forefinger serves as a reminder to concentrate on the task at hand—pun intended—to slow down, and to be grateful for all the good in my life.
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On my way to school, having loaded Billy Joel’s album The Stranger on Spotify, I sang along to “Vienna” as I did in my youth:
Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day…
I’m usually pretty good about taking this advice, keeping up with the flow of traffic on GA 400 and allowing other drivers, the ones who are in a huge hurry, to fly past me on either side. If my Google Calendar reminds me to do something that won’t get done today, I edit the event and reschedule the reminder for tomorrow without stressing out about it. I try to be gentle with myself, acknowledge my human fallibility and frailty.
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Yesterday, while emptying the dishwasher I was forced to pause, to reset my speed.
Slow down, you’re doing fine…
Yes, I am. Driving the speed limit, listening to the jazzy, instrumental interlude, I remembered seeing Billy Joel in concert. Didn’t he say the song wasn’t about the city, but about slowing down to appreciate what you have in life?
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two…
Yes, I can. I thought about how I’d prepare the challah dough for the sabbath, bake the loaves, set the dining room table, turn off my devices and light the candles to welcome shabbat.
I’ll slow down, be grateful: reset my soul.