For decades, I’ve been in overdrive. Go, go, go. Career in the early days, babies and books for my husband’s small business, working from home and raising up two boys, and then part-time work. My mom asked me once if I ever relaxed. Admittedly, I have a terrible time unwinding mentally and physically.
Here I am, unable to do much physically due to fibromyalgia, I have hours during which I’m free to roam in my mind. For years, I was intent on “getting better;” if not back to “normal,” at least better. I’d see a new approach or supplement and I’d plan. Now, it’s time to accept and adjust.
I’ve been quite puzzled, looking at this new situation and trying to work it into something positive, purposeful. Over coffee this morning, the perfect analogy popped into mind. It is time for me to downshift. When approaching a slow zone, a driver can use the transmission to decrease speed, shifting down to the appropriate gear, rather than using the brakes as much.
No need to slam on the brakes here; I just need to downshift because miles per hour in this stage of my life are lower. I’ll breathe, look around, and stop when I feel the need. I am blessed beyond measure that I’m able to take a scenic route with amazing support from my husband.
I’m surprised by the clarity and peace I derive from this analogy. It seems silly, really, that a driving memory from days driving across barren desert should assist me in understanding my current circumstances. Hereon, though, when I feel anxious because I’m not busy or planning to be, I’ll remind myself that I’m downshifting.
I do look in the rearview mirror and shake my head in wonder at all those years. Gone, gone, gone.