I’m a rusher, a multitasker, a list-maker. I routinely try to carry in so many grocery bags from the car that I inevitably end up dropping half of them, taking twice as much time to clean everything up than if I’d just carried in a couple at a time like a sane person. After our second son was born, and I was trying to balance a newborn and a kindergartener and also a book deadline and that crazy amount of newborn laundry, I caught myself running up and down the stairs with baskets of laundry, trying to use my time well while the baby was sleeping. Running. In my home. As though I was participating in a timed obstacle course. In my home.
All this to say: I’m not by nature a slow, cool, wander-through-life kind of person. I wish I was. Instead I’ve always been quick with a side of frantic, efficient with a dash of manic. And about two years ago, that whole way of living stopped working for me. I don’t know if it was age or God or that second baby or another book deadline, but rather dramatically, I was no longer able or willing to run my life on that fuel. And I was no longer able or willing to miss the things I’d been missing in order to get done all the things that had previously seemed so urgent.
I wanted to taste things deeply once again, to play again, to be with instead of do for. I wanted to feel my life, instead of blowing past it day after day, falling asleep too late and then waking too early with a start—dreamless, panicky. I wanted to connect, to taste, to feel, to savor. I used to know how to do those things—we all did, didn’t we? But along the way I became more efficient than connected to God, to my own soul, to the people I love. And I wanted a way back.1