53. Slow Down

LIFE

As of July 1, I retired. At first, I noted how difficult it was to slow down; noted my addiction to speed; now I am amazed at how little I accomplish in a day with only a short list. True is the statement that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Certainly, don’t give it to me; I’ve become useless.

 

BODY

I’m on the slow food diet—my working metaphor for reprogramming my addictions and habits. I sit down now for every meal and slowly chew each bite like a civilized person. I think of eating at a baby’s pace. What used to take me five minutes to inhale, either in front of the computer or standing up, now takes me anywhere between 30–40 minutes. At first it made me antsy—how can I afford to spend that much time eating! A couple of times I abandoned my meal because it was taking too long. I am eating anything and everything—fresh eggs every morning fried in bacon grease—but eating less and eating slowly.

 

FINANCES

On that same note, I am reevaluating my spending consumption. I have no income; no plans to look for income for at least another two months; and no clue where I will look once I’m ready. That could be scary, and for awhile it was cause for the occasional panic attack, but then I realized that it doesn’t matter how much money I make or don’t make, I will never feel like I have enough until I address my addiction to consumption. In an ah-ha moment, I experienced complete clarity that the secret to my happiness lies in wanting what I have, and not wanting what I don’t have. It’s simple and a compelling compass I have had success to date implementing. As I stand in front of something selling myself on why I need it and why it will bring me happiness, I silently repeat the mantra: want what you have, don’t want what you don’t have. I lead myself to think of other things I have that are comparable, and I walk away. This is a huge and important transformation for me. I am holding this and eating with mindfulness as my next areas of personal growth. I know from experience I am capable of changing anything about myself if I truly want it.
***CONFIDENTIAL***

It’s important to me that what I am about to share gets communicated to our larger world of friends in a way that I feel comfortable with. Please refrain from sharing even with your spouses until we have talked. Thank you.

 

RELATIONSHIP

I can not help but believe that my life is charmed, that a spirit guide helps orchestrate the timing of events, and dreams, even snippets of conversation that serve as the signposts that keep me moving in the right direction. I have been struggling in my relationship with Jordan for well over a year, but have lacked the conviction or courage to listen to my heart. Fear of being wrong; fear of hurting him; fear of letting go of this wonderful lifestyle adventure we share. I had decided that since the decision felt too clouded and difficult to make I would wait—take our relationship one day at a time, as long as I was enjoying myself, and trust that when the time came for me to make a change I would know. Last week I had a wonderful lunch with my landlord and she offhandedly commented that she used to be attracted to grumpy and temperamental men until finally one day she declared she’d had enough. Obviously, she peaked my interest and what came next, unsolicited, was the observation that Jordan and I shared mutually enhancing lifestyles, but that he was not a longterm fit for my personality. She continued to share that she and her husband often noticed and discussed the negative way he dismisses and puts me down, the way he criticizes me for inconsequential things, all the while bemoaning how hard I am on him. She told me how it’s obvious that he dampens my spirit and enthusiasm and that she knows from experience exactly what that feels like.

 

I framed my concerns to Jordan in an email with a personal and positive perspective. He knew I was upset and offered to come over Friday afternoon to talk, however, he called a little later to say that the surf was good and ask if I wanted to ride to the beach with him and we could talk in the car. I declined. I’d been in bed all day with a sick headache from stress and tears and needless to say I didn’t consider the car an appropriate venue. Saturday we had a full and wonderful day together. Sunday we woke and I reminded him that we still hadn’t talked. When I confront Jordan he always amazes me at how self aware he actually is. He says all the right things. We went to dinner that evening with friends. Despite our conversation, nothing changed. We all went for a walk between courses and a different friend paired up with me, and again unsolicited, she offered: “Page you are a resilient woman.” She then proceeded to tell me that she and her boyfriend talk about how Jordan treats me and how they both wish he would step up to the plate and not take me for granted. When he snapped at me later that evening it was unbearable knowing that everyone in the room was aware of it. I drove Jordan home in tears and when we reached his house I told him that I couldn’t continue. He was angry and I have not heard from him since. There is so much I admire and love about Jordan, and much of his behavior I am able to empathize with and understand. My past two years have been an incredible adventure; I couldn’t dream a better life for myself. It is taking incredible courage for me to have faith in my decision. Ultimately, I have an amazing family and community of friends who set a very high standard for how to love and be loved, how to respect and treat people, and I know in my heart it is treason to my soul to accept less than I give. My landlords have been wonderful. They spent most of Monday with me and are taking me to dinner tonight. They took Jordan to lunch today. They adore Jordan, but continue to tell me that I deserve to be treated better.

 

One of Jordan’s friends called just now for some editing advice and to schedule a time for he and his girlfriend to take us out to dinner. I had to tell him we aren’t together, but it turned out to be a gift. He told me, that although he doesn’t presume to know what happened, he can understand. He acknowledged how painful it is to breakup with someone when there is seemingly nothing wrong, they’re just not the right one for you.

 

I hope we stay friends. Jordan is angry, stubborn and I presume hurt, so we will see. My life up here and friends have all come through Jordan, so I have some trepidation, but without a doubt this is where I want to be and I have faith I will land on my feet. It’s incredibly difficult to reject someone—I’ve never been on this side before, and in many ways it is considerably harder. I have had my moments of panic—I’ve given up everything: my business, my work and now my boyfriend. I have visions of me turning into an isolated kook living here alone with just my cat and the chickens.

 

Thank you for listening and for your shining examples of what I want in my life.