Life is Long. Take time to Dilly-Dally.

In Health, Inspiration, My Story, She's Enjoying the Journey, Uncategorized by Kandice Swarthout

On my coworker’s office wall lives a sign that says “Life short, there’s no time to dilly dally.”  I’ve lived by this creed my entire life. Rushing to get from one place to the next. Rushing to finish this so I can start that. Do I have the dreaded FOMO? Might life pass me by and I have not fit in every single tiny little thing that I could possibly get accomplished? This is especially true during the winter months when the sun goes down early.  Oh my gosh! How many things can I get done while the sun is up? GO! Off to the races. Work, workout, cook, clean, write an article, sleep!! Oh! Yes, sleep. That tiny detail. 

How do you do it?

On a regular basis people say to me, “How do you do everything that you do?” My response, “I don’t know.“ The truth is, I really do not know how I do it all. It is like an on-off switch. On in the morning. Off at bedtime. If I could only find that medium speed. Really, I thought this is what everyone does until I started getting side-eye from people that love me and see me getting worn out. My mom calls it busy. I call it productive.

Speaking of moms…I had a grad school professor that said: “Everything stems from M&D (Mom & Dad).” Mine never rested. Still doesn’t.  She cooked, cleaned, worried, cleaned some more, worried some more. Isn’t that just what women do? 

Isn’t that just what women do? 

Recently my friend, Anne Duffy, made a comment to me about life being short. She said that she read an article about 15 years ago that said life is not short, life is long. She has adopted this concept into her own reality. Now, being a girl that is a staunch advocate of perspective change, I have spent some considerable time taking this to heart and pondering what it means. 

there really is plenty of time to dilly- dally.  

The main thing I have noticed when I stop and say to myself, “life is long,” is that things seem to slow down. I suddenly gain an awareness of what is around me. I notice new things, breathe in new air, and almost clear my mind. It is like making space that was not there a moment ago. Another perspective change is that it seems like there is room for forgiveness when life is long. There is room to make mistakes or put something on hold or say “No thanks” to something that seemed important. 

When your perspective changes. . .

When life is long I might spend five more minutes in the bathtub or not care that my hour workout ran an hour and 15 minutes.  That extra five or 15 minutes is where the magic might happen. It is the space where I have a creative idea or push myself to a place I haven’t gone before. I’m no longer captive to a super rigid schedule and have some flexibility to be still and think. I noticed that when life is long I reframe my “hurry to the next thing” thoughts to “It’s OK. Enjoy the moment. It will still be there and it will get done.” 

Recently, I was in a car accident. Fortunately, I was okay, but my car got beat up pretty badly. It was really scary and everything went so fast and in slow motion at the same time.  I replayed it over and over in my head what feels like one million times. The days following, I was stuck at home without a car, waiting on a rental. At first I thought it was a travesty that an entire Saturday would go by without getting any errands done. After sulking for about an hour, I got myself together and enjoyed the day alone. I did a two-hour workout, made a couple of meals, watched “Chip and Joanne”, reminded myself that life is long and that I’m lucky to not be injured or worse!  I dilly-dallied like nobody’s business. Because when life is long, there really is plenty of time to dilly dally.