The Dangerous Art of Slowing Down

What you are reading at this very moment is an act of rebellion.

Daring? Yes.

Status-quo-obliterating? Without a doubt.

Hyper-ventilation-inducing? Not exactly what I was aiming for but sure, why not?

What is this a rebellion against? This is mutiny against a force so powerful, so stealthy, and so pervasive that it may have you in its shadowy clutches at this very moment. You can likely recall many encounters with its victims, fraught with fear and desperation. As you raise a mental finger to identify those shackled souls in the recesses of your memory, it is even more likely that the same chain dangles from your own wrists. Yes, this is an enemy we know all too well for, at one time or another, we have all been bound in the prison of: Burnout.

Busyness. Hurriedness. Hastiness. Burning the candle at both ends. Having too much on your plate. Not enough bandwidth. Biting off more than you can chew. A lone ranger tapping out a two-partner tango on a crowded dance floor.

OK I made that last one up. But you know exactly what I’m talking about. The world around us is flying by at mind-boggling speed and it’s easy to feel the pressure to do the same. The consequences may seem attractive at first: get stuff done faster, more efficiently, and move on to bigger and better things. Initially, life in the fast lane may reap such benefits. But after a while, some ugly side affects start to pop up: loss of focus, unrelenting stress, piles of incomplete projects. The perfect recipe for burnout.

When I first started this blog last summer, I set the bar pretty high. I was going to write a new post twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. In addition to writing my own content, I was going to expound on content ideas that were volunteered by readers. I had a strategy for baiting the audience and giving them the hook to come back for more. I was going to write drafts on my commutes, wake up early in the morning to edit those drafts, and slice off some weekend time to prep for show-time on Monday. Thursday’s post would just kind of happen somewhere in the midst of all that.

This plan never really got off the ground. Thank you God.

I tried it for a few weeks. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. When I ran out of time, ideas, or both, I started relying way more on recycling old journal entries and poems for posts rather than writing something new and fresh. After a few months, I stopped blogging entirely about seven months ago.

That’s burnout.

Was it a failure? Not necessarily. I had a lot of fun writing and am glad to have at least started this project. The heart was there but the logistical plan of how to make it happen was never going to work. As a result, I had drifted pretty far from the original intention of the blog.

The original intent of the blog was simple: to enjoy writing life stories and sharing the meaning discovered therein with others. The burnout strategy took that seed and wrapped it in the suffocatingly complicated soil of mass production. It sprouted a couple of leaves but quickly withered.

Now where was I? Oh yes, the rebellion part.

The burnout strategy killed the seed and stole my joy. I don’t like that. So I’m taking it back.

This blog is hereby revitalized. You may have noticed that it has a new home on this site and a new name. It’s content will be written with inspiration and joy. It will require effort and hard-work, but it will be inline with the original spirit of this project.

Practically speaking, I’ll aim to write something new once a week on Mondays. Maybe more, maybe less. By the time the words of these posts reach you, their figurative ink will hopefully still be drying and they will have eluded the fate of being edited to death in the clutches of the burnout beast.

In any case, I intend for this to be a work of joy and I hope that the life observations you find here will inspire you to delve into the rich meaning behind your life experiences as well. Please share what you find with others!

For those of you who are new to this blog, you may be interested in the previous posts. They can be viewed on this site or on their old home here. For some direct context on what this blog is about and the kind of content you’ll find here, please check out the inaugural post or the “About This Blog” page.

In summary, this season of life seems to be about focusing on the important things. Living the burnout strategy causes one to simultaneously take on too much while losing so much more in the process. In the grand perspective, this blog project is a very small thing. But it is often the very small things that lead us to great things.

[Martha] had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.

“Martha, Martha”, the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

(Luke 10:39-40a and 41-42)

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One thought on “The Dangerous Art of Slowing Down

  1. “One line”
    By the time the words of these posts reach you, their figurative ink will hopefully still be drying and they will have eluded the fate of being edited to death in the clutches of the burnout beast.

    “Overall”
    This blog is a testament to every “part time blogger” and human..

    Liked by 1 person

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