Raise your hand if you often feel overwhelmed and exhausted before you even step out of bed.  I would bet to say that you are not alone.  I recently started a Bible Study with my girls called, "Growing Slow" by Jennifer Dukes Lee.  We are only on the second chapter, so I am still learning how to "grow slow" but it has brought, (in just the intro and first chapter), to my realization how hurried we all really are becoming.

Some where in all the growth in technology, we have made life more difficult rather than the original plan to make life easier.  People always think drugs or alcohol, when they hear the word addict.  Most would even state proudly, "I am not an addict!"  But lets be honest here, we are all addicts.  

We all feel this need to be connected to a million people through a million devices and social media platforms.  Add to that, whether we want to admit it or not, we want to keep up with everyone.  Some people want to keep up so much that they post false post about their lives trying to look like they have lives that only exist in their fantasies.  

For me, I was never that person, I actually probably share too many of my hard days causing followers to think I was manic with my roller coaster ride from day to day.  But I was always honest, because the empath that I am, I figured if I shared my struggles, I just might help someone else struggling. Always when I write or share, it is in hopes to help someone else who might be thinking or feeling the same way I am.

Recently, I was thinking how much slower paced and easier it was before social media.  I was thinking about how honest effort had to be made to stay in touch with others.  I decided I was going to ditch social media.  Do you know how easy that process is?  

Well the process is just a quick click of "delete this account". 

 OHHHH But It's NOT!!! 

 My mind knows that without social media, it would slow me down a bit.  It would eliminate some of the distractions that take up my time, causing me to rush and hurry to get things done after losing so much time to checking social media.  But the struggle is thoughts went something like this.......

"If I drop Snap Chat, I won't be able to get all those sweet snap chats of my grandbabies" (both human and of the four legged variety) **really ridiculous as I am very close with my children I see them all often, some daily.

"If I drop Instagram, I will have to delete all the post that got me through the loss of my brother.  All the saved post from other Instagram accounts with verses and quotes that comforted me during that difficult time." **really ridiculous since I wrote the post, they were my feelings, with the print or not, my feelings will never change about how much I love my brother or how difficult losing him has been for me. As for the verses, I have a Bible for that.

"If I drop Facebook, I will lose contact with friends I have not seen since High School that seem interested in my life and my kids........"**really ridiculous since I lived all these years and most of them never attempted to reconnect with me and I only live ten minutes from the town I grew up in.

We wish to slow down, we see that social media is part of the problem of causing us to feel and live hurried, yet we are addicted to this life we slowly fell into.

Is social media even good for us?  I see a lot of politics on social media.  I don't know about you, but politics stress me out.  Side Hustles stress me out. Keeping up with the Jones stresses me out.  Worrying whether I have offended someone, stresses me out. Getting a direct message in messenger, stresses me out when I can't respond right away or I don't really want to respond at all.

We will never slow down unless we make a conscious decision to either eliminate social media or make a guideline of use and stick to it.  How often we are missing out on all that is right in front of us looking at social media, and rushing to keep up.

Join me for a moment....I was going to say close your eyes...but then you couldn't read this. haha!! So ok, join me in taking a deep breath. Slowly release it and imagine in your mind your life before our world got so flooded with technology.  Back then you had to slow down to write a friend a letter, take time to address the envelope, prioritize a time to run it to the post office and get it mailed.  Your friend waited in joyful anticipation of the letter arriving, had to take the time to walk out to the mail box to retrieve the letter.  Your friend felt loved that you took "THE TIME" to slow down, think of them and write a letter.  When I was a kid I had a couple Aunts, even a Great Aunt that used to write me letters.  I even remember the one time the stationery was Pink gingham print and it had strawberries across the top that when you scratched them you could actually smell strawberries.  Look at that fond memory I have of a aging Aunt taking her precious time to write to me a young kid, and added time in selecting such pretty paper to write it on.  I can't remember a email, message or post from social media, let alone could I tell you how much it touched my heart.

Slowing down and taking time, getting back a bit to the old days sounds like sitting on the porch, sipping iced tea, watching the corn grow to me. Just saying it feels like a breath of fresh air.  Why are we rushing through life?  Life is short enough.  Well, you might say, "exactly Dawn, this is why I rush.  I am trying to do all that I can in my one short life!"  Well, Ok, I get that, but are you really enjoying all the things you are rushing through trying to cram them in.  

As I write this, I have to admit that the title selection was misleading.  You might have read this hoping I could tell you how to slow down.  But you see I am still learning this myself.  "

Hi, My name is Dawn, and I am an addict!"

I want to slow down, my dream is to slow down, my body is telling me to just breathe.  But I am struggling with doing what must be done to slow down.  I am struggling with letting go of all the technology that entered our world to make things easier but instead caused us all to have focusing problems.  It used to be children were tested and found to have ADHD.  How many adults do you know that seem to have it now a days?  I feel it.  My mind cannot rest even to type this. 

 I am in our farm office, and while typing this I am distracted by my cellphone sitting right next to me that keeps binging with notifications.  My dryer is screaming in the laundry room telling me I need to swap out the load.  My clock is ticking away as I am noticing it is time to start preparing lunch for my Farmer who will be coming in shortly to eat.  My mind is on the Bible Study with the girls that is at one o'clock today.  I am remembering I still need to make my bed, I usually make it first thing but I was in a hurry to start laundry today. 

Think about it, when cell phones became a thing.  They were actually called "car phones".  A phone you could carry in your car mainly for emergencies.  Now they are the only phones most have.  Most people have given up land lines in their homes.  What were we thinking?  Now when someone calls and you don't answer they will just keep calling. Why? Because they know you always have your phone on you.  They have visited with you while you checked it rudely during your time with them. 

 I have often thought about doing a little experiment of setting my cellphone in the spot in our kitchen where our landline used to be and if I get a call standing there rather than walking all over doing things while visiting with someone.  Imagine the conversation without being distracted by "Multi-tasking" because we have so much to get done.  Imagine the connection we might feel to that person we are visiting with as we actually give them our full attention.  

Recently me and my Husband read a book about how to cherish your spouse.  We do morning Devotions daily and sometimes I toss in a book that is just about marriage or relationships.  I always am the reader, he is the listener and if you are thinking it is me forcing these things on him, you don't know him.  He literally is the one that will get the stack of three to four books that we read from, One being the Bible, and sit them in front of me on the table by my coffee.  If he doesn't, most days I am hurrying to get things started for the day that I will forget to do it.  We keep the Devotionals and morning reading up in the cabinet so if I don't see things out I easily forget.....most likely due to my hurried brain.

Anyways, in this book about cherishing your spouse it brought to our attention how often when we are talking to each other we do not make eye contact.  Sometimes we aren't even looking in each others direction.  He's looking at the news, I'm looking at my phone.  Sad really, it is a sad picture to visualize what that looks like and what that might seem like what kind of relationship we have.  We have a good marriage....I actually would go as far as to say, we have a GREAT marriage.  But to see us communicating without looking at each other, it doesn't look like it.  So recently I have made a honest effort to look at him, make eye contact, listen to what he is saying without interrupting or thinking of what I want to talk about next.  Wow, in two weeks, I already feel closer to him. And the funny thing, is I did this without telling him I was going to do it,  and yet it seems he now is returning the favor.  I've notice him looking at me and listening to me when I am talking to him.  Why didn't we always do this?  We did when we first got together.  But over time, we got busy, we got distracted, we got "Hurried".

A lot is expected of us these days, all of us, you included.  Our world is spinning faster and every day it seems to be going a bit crazy and seems to be spinning out of control.  

I wonder how much more life I could enjoy if I slow down.  I wonder how many blessings I have been over looking I would suddenly see right in front of me that I have over looked hurrying from one thing to another, or one place to another.

I know we can't change work schedules sometimes, I am not suggesting you go in and tell your boss you need less hours because you feel to hurried.  I am just saying, maybe life would be more positive and less stressful if we all just made a few choices to go back.  All this "The future is Bright", "Don't look behind you, you aren't going that way"....yeh, I think its ok to step back.  You don't have to look back, especially if you have struggled with real addictions or brokenness, most definitely keep moving forward.  But I mean step back to a simpler time.  Look over the things causing you to feel so hurried, frazzled, stressed out and see what you can eliminate.

I know I have done it before, and my addiction takes hold and I log back on.  But you might not see me much on social media.  I might not respond instantly to a text or call.  I want to slow down and take in all that God has given me, because like I said life is short.  Instead of cramming a bunch of stuff in my time here, running like a crazy women unable to catch my breath, feeling the pressure of pleasing everyone, I want to breathe.  I want to slow down and look around and see all that I have been given.  I want to live unhurried in a hurried world.  I might lose a few friends, but those that I truly matter to will just have to make the honest effort to grab that pretty paper and write me a note, ahhh wouldn't it be nice to get some strawberry scented pink gingham stationery in the mail instead of all the bills.

Slow down, I give you permission.  Breathe, take in all that God has given you.

Let me know if you notice a difference in how much you can get done when you slow down.

Life is short, Don't hurry through it.  Just Breathe and enjoy it.

The Happy Farmwife


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