Slowing The Heck Down…

Happy Festivus For the Rest of Us! Haha.. Remember that, Seinfeld lovers? I miss that show :) Unfortunately we’re not celebrating THAT holiday today, but we are another one here in the States and I think Canada – Labor Day – and contrary to what it’s about, I’m sure many of you will still be laboring (sorry!). Times are what they are these days, eh?

For those who *are* off today though, I hope you’re filling yourselves with relaxation and hanging out with friends and loved ones :)  I know that’s what I’ll be doing once I get this post up and out the door and knock out some emails… And I’ll be proud of myself for doing that ‘cuz sometimes you just have to STOP and quit going a mile a minute to smell the life around us. I’ve learned from experience that when you go hardcore in one direction or another (career, love, saving, spending, etc), it usually ends up having the opposite intended effect.

And I’ve been thinking a LOT about that lately.  Mainly because of the new life with the baby and how I don’t have as much time as I used to before, but also because all I do – day in and day out – is try to hustle and find the next big project to make more and more, and even MORE money down the road. So I can then hit Goal A and B and C,D, E, F, G to the motha f’ing Z, haha…. Which is great for staying motivated, but not so much for living in the moment and keeping the stress levels down ;)  Something I’ve been pretty bad at over the years.

I get so caught up thinking about the *future*, that it’s very hard at times to appreciate TODAY. Right this second as we’re all living and breathing and reading blogs this morning ;)  Yes it’s important to plan and work for the future – that’s unavoidable anyways – BUT being able to catch yourself and slow down a bit here and there can do some pretty important wonders too.  And I’ll admit I’m not the best at it. (Anyone have any pointers??).

So today, and hopefully tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that, I’m gonna make a much more valiant effort at slowing down my hustle and appreciating the simplicity of each day I’m granted. IF I’m lucky to even have such a day, you know?  We say it all the time that “you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow” but there really is something to it.  What if you don’t wake up in the morning?  What if you lose your job?  What if you win the lottery??? (Had to throw in *some* positive event here! Haha…).  We really just don’t know 100%. And therefore need to take advantage of the time we DO have here on this beautiful green Earth.

I’m sorry if we’re getting too down and deep today, but I really think it’s important to take this step back and reflect a little. Even if for only a 15 min walk around the block or call with a friend or something.  How many of you have like 5 people you need to call back right now, but are too afraid of doing it ‘cuz you know each of them will suck an hour or two each of catching up? Cuz you’ve gone too long w/out talking? I hate that… and then it makes things worse cuz you get so overwhelmed that you end up not calling back any of them and feel horrible about it, ugh…

The same thing can apply with setting money goals as well.  You want to save $2,000 in 6 months? Great! Don’t wait 3 months to start putting it away in larger chunks, or for some magical money-fairy to come and do it for you. Start saving TODAY and on a weekly level, little by little, so by the end of the 6 mos you’ve eventually hit your goal!  Don’t rush and try to fast forward time – I fall into this trap all the time and it’s so stupid. The faster we reach those goals, the less time we have left on this Earth – ever thought about that?  Every now and then I catch myself wishing that 12 years will hurry on and speed on by so I can finally hit that Millionaire status, and I have to constantly remind myself that I’d much rather LIVE those 12 years instead and get their slower ;) What’s the point of all that money if you don’t have any time left to use it anyways?

I may be rambling here, but the point is – slow it all down and get back to appreciating your baby steps.  Some might be more productive than others, and you’ll probably get caught up and rush through the time for whatever reason it is we do that, but if absolutely possible try and remind yourself every day that you are growing.  In both life, and in money. Soak it in and be proud of yourselves!!  There’s no need to hurry up and hit the finish line – we’ll get there when we get there.

I don’t know if it’ll help, but I’m gonna create a calendar item right now in Gmail to alert me every week to hit pause and reflect. It’s going to say, “Hey you! Slow the F down and go kiss your baby!” Haha… you may need to tweak it a little if you want to try it yourself ;)  But if it slows me down just a little, and reminds me of what’s truly important in every day life, then I’ll call it a nice success.  I’m tired of waking up every morning and pushing turbo charge just to get through the day and start the whole crazy thing ll over again the next day. I’ll be 90 before I know it!

How are you guys handling this stuff? Do you have good ways of slowing yourself down? Or have I just completely lost it, and you’re never coming back here again? ;)

In either case, Happy (Non) Labor Day!

(Photo by pasa47)

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  1. Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds September 3, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    I wondered when you’d slow down :-)

    This is something I struggle with as well as recently I told hubby that I needed to slow down. Hands in too many pots and spent way too much time chasing different opportunities. Slowing down for me is not picking up my laptop because that starts it all over again! LOL So downtime for me is anything off the computer: gym time, walking/walking the dog, hanging with friends etc That works for me. Right now we are at the beach and trying to take care of a few things before I head out for the day. We leave here on Wednesday so I want to soak up everything I can! It’s called vacation for a reason!

  2. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies September 3, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Super timely. I slowed down myself this morning on my run. Since I didn’t have to get back home to rush to work I moved from the sidewalk to the beach sand and ran in an around all the pelicans and sandpipers. I even stopped for a couple minutes and captured some video of a heron fishing. While it smelled more like fishes than roses, I was still so glad that I stopped. Hope you enjoy some down time with the wife and kid today, and tomorrow, and every day.

  3. Trevor @ FN September 3, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Agreed– this is very timely. Here I am at 6 a.m. on Labor Day hammering in the office. Thanks J.

  4. Edward Antrobus September 3, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    I’ve gotten better at handling stress over the years, but back in college, I found the frequent need to “run away” to the woods and meditate for a while. A few nights, I didn’t even come back to my room till morning.

  5. Emmy September 3, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    I have a hard time slowing down pretty much all of the time. I’m getting better, and right now I’m in a bit of a “slower” season for work. So I almost don’t have a choice but to slow down. It’s hard for me though because I love being busy all of the time and just go go go non-stop. However, I also know that’s super unhealthy. (Literally. Last summer after a crazy 2-3 month season where I rarely had a day off I got sick for a week. Throwing up, coughing, sneezing, the whole deal.) So – GO SLOW DOWN. I feel like Mrs. $ and Baby $ don’t want you sick.

  6. Budget & the Beach September 3, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I have a hard time reconciling working hard and really pushing myself with taking it easy and relaxing. If I slow down, I feel like I’m not doing enough…just to break even, but if I don’t, I will bet burned out or sick for sure. For me, I’ve sacrificed more social plans so I can just chill out and my house at night. And I’ve left Saturday open to do whatever I wanted, and it’s a no work day. You have to do what you have to do to find balance, otherwise life just goes by and you wondered what the hell happened.

  7. Lance @ Money Life and More September 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    I just got back from my Disney vacation and I agree that people need to slow down, myself included. I have some ideas so we’ll see how they work out…

  8. LB September 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I usually have to adjust accordingly through out my day. By either doing more or shoving a nice way to meditate in the middle. Life has gotten busy for me, but I flipped it upside down again. (Seriously, wtf is wrong with me sometimes ha!). Instead of finishing up at my Com College. I was offered a way into my dream school with a tuition guarantee. Now I still have to read ALL of the fine print, but this time I jumped at it. I had to drop my classes I was in the middle of, drop all my plans including clubs and such, and just go for it. All I could think of was HELL YES. I didn’t want to turn this down even if something comes up and I have to wait a semester to do back to my Comm. College. I wanted to take the chance.

    In doing so I am all revved up with no where to put all my excitement. I no longer have homework, no longer have my clubs I signed up for and no longer have any plans I had before. Everything was tied into school at this point in time. I even have to wait to finalize everything at my dream school later this week, because today is a holiday.

    I guess I will just take this day and reflect on the good that is in my life and actually spend time with my husband-especially reflecting on my time with my husband. I never get holiday’s with him and this year I might only get today and Christmas with him.

  9. DC @ Young Adult Money September 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Honestly I find it nearly impossible to slow down unless I’m on vacation. I’ve been at a coffee shop the past few hours (on Labor Day of all days haha) working my side hustle. It’s back to the 9-5 (more like 7-5) grind tomorrow and side hustle at night.

    I appreciate hearing this post from you because I remember talking to you back when you were doing the full-time grind + a few hours every night on this site (plus weekend work on your side hustle as well). I definitely need to slow down a bit and appreciate the little things in life.

  10. Joe @ Retire By 40 September 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    You can slow down when you’re 40. hahaha. Yeah, it’s good to slow down and enjoy life. Your little guy will only be a baby once. Our little dude is growing up fast and he’s not a baby anymore. :(

  11. MakintheBacon$ September 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    When I saw the title of this post, I was like, yeah I really need to slow down, but sometimes I feel I don’t know how. I feel sometimes I have to work, work, work while I’m young, so I can enjoy life later on. And then it’ll get the point where I’m burnt out, veg for a bit, get bored and the whole vicious cycle begins all over again.

    I can definitely relate about not wanting to call people to catch up because I do see it as a bit of a time suck. I’ll usually just end up emailing them or texting them or calling them while I’m waiting on something.

    I find reading a book on my comfy couch can help me slow down. I can’t say going to the gym really relaxes me because I’m the instructor leading the class. :)

  12. SavvyFinancialLatina September 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I have a hard time slowing down too! Today I wanted to relax but here I am reading blogs and writing some posts for the week. Aghh!!! It all makes me happy though :)

  13. Country Girl September 3, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    I love me some slow time. I find summer is just so busy, it’s really hard to find time to slow down, but thankfully, now that it’s Labour Day, I’m preparing myself for my winter hibernation. Fewer things to do, forced to be inside, and more time to just take it easy and relax with a big mug of tea and a good book/movie.

  14. William @ Drop Dead Money September 4, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    There are times when slow is good, and there are times when busy is good. I want neither one all the time. It’s like chocolate: it tastes really good when you haven’t had it in a while (like a few hours or so!) but if that’s all you eat, it loses a lot of its attraction.

    After a lazy 4 day Labor Day weekend (we cheat, what can I say?) I’m looking forward to doing a few things again… like getting ready for Fincon12 this week! :)

  15. J. Money September 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Hope you guys enjoyed your holiday yesterday :)

    @Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds – Hah! Exactly! I like that “no opening laptop” rule a lot too – that really is the key. When I can shut it off for the day and not check stuff throughout the evening (or worse – right before going to bed!) I consider it a win ;) And all the iPhones and newer technology just make it harder with all their tempting! Haha… hope you guys have fun out there!
    @Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies – Woahh cool! Do you live near the beach then? Or you on vacay like our friend Ginger up there? Either way, good job on soaking in life yesterday :) I did end up working more than I wanted to myself, but once I was off the computer that was that for the rest of the day, and we all hung out with family and had some nice dinner at the end – it was awesome. And I did my best to turn off my brain ;)
    @Trevor @ FN – Oh jeez, haha… well it’s nice to see your name pop up here at least – it’s been a while! :)
    @Edward Antrobus – Wow really? Man, I can’t ever sit still long enough to try meditation, nonetheless jump into the woods in the middle of a project ;) Pretty awesome that you can do that though.
    @Emmy – Yeah, that’s true too about some of us – we like staying busy all the time :) I guess it’s just a matter of staying busy w/ work stuff vs. non work stuff, yeah? It’s that latter part I need to continue working to be better at.
    @Budget & the Beach – That’s a good idea – keeping Saturday a non work day, I like that :) Then gives you something to look forward to also since you know it ahead of time.
    @Lance @ Money Life and More – Nice!! Did you go w/ family or kids by chance, or just you and the lady? Haha….
    @LB – CONGRATS!!! That is awesome!! I’d drop everything too for a huge opportunity like that, so way to say YES and go after it :) That’s so exciting!
    @DC @ Young Adult Money – Oh man, yeah – I was even WORSE then! Haha… that was non stop from 6am to 2am every day w/ no sleep and no life ;) So thank YOU for reminding me of that actually – I feel like I’ve come pretty far since then!
    @Joe @ Retire By 40 – Crazy, right? Our boy’s already 8 weeks old and sleeping in his own room now – a far cry from just 2 weeks ago when he wouldn’t sleep past 3 hours in a row, and always had to be near us… next up, college! ;)
    @MakintheBacon$ – Oh man, you said it perfectly: “I feel sometimes I have to work, work, work while I’m young, so I can enjoy life later on. And then it’ll get the point where I’m burnt out, veg for a bit, get bored and the whole vicious cycle begins all over again. ” That’s me to a T. I can go hardcore into work, then hardcore into relaxing and then feel bad for not working and get right back to hardcore work again ;) I do think there’s a lot to be said for working our asses off now though for a better tomorrow, I just don’t know “how much” is appropriate. I guess when we don’t feel guilty in any aspects of life?
    @SavvyFinancialLatina – Haha… that’s the silver lining with all our “work” stuff that happens to be “blog” stuff – we enjoy it a lot! It’s only when we’re forced to write or do something with them (maintenance, for ex) that it gets into “errand” time…. at least for me.
    @Country Girl – Ooooh that sounds cozy! Only thing that sucks about winter is not being able to take (comfortable) walks whenever you want to :( The one favorite thing in the world for me – I hate it…
    @William @ Drop Dead Money – Haha… a man who always has a way with words, I love it :) And excited to meet you in real life this week too – so make sure to say hi to me if I happen to walk past you! I don’t know how many bloggers will be there with mohawks ;)

  16. Chris September 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Depends on your situation I guess. For you, with a wife and child it would be smart to slow down and enjoy the little things. I’m a little younger and single. All I want to do is work and be busier. When I have too much downtime I get bored and depressed. I think when I settle down I might enjoy that downtime a little bit more.

  17. J. Money September 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    For sure, that’s a good point. I get depressed here and there too when I’m alone and without anything to work on, at least pre-baby. Guess it’s always about finding that happy medium, eh? Thanks for stopping by today :)

  18. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter September 4, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I slow down and just enjoy whenever we are with family or friends. The second they are out the door though, my laptop comes out and I’m back at it. But they visit a lot, so I think I’m good. :-)

  19. J. Money September 5, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Haha, that works out well :) I don’t get any visitors so doesn’t work for me (sad trombone).

  20. J. Money September 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Oh cool, never heard of before – will check it out, thanks :)