Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: slow down

#28: The Case of the Missing Watermelon

This is probably going to end up being one of those “You had to be there” stories, but I’m going to blog about it if only  to remind myself in the future of this funny incident.

Yesterday, I brought a lot of bags of food for a party we had today for our graduating seniors.  In the midst of the bags, I had a watermelon that I brought as dessert for the party.  I took the bags and watermelon up the elevator to our building’s kitchen, and that’s the last I remember of the watermelon. I put the bags of food and groceries away in our building refrigerator and went to my office to work a long busy day.

This was in the morning, when I came to work.  At the end of the day, I had a sudden realization that I didn’t remember putting the watermelon anywhere– fridge, office area, anywhere.  So I retraced my steps and looked for the watermelon and couldn’t find it.

Without thinking too much, I sent an email out to the whole agency (about 100 people in total) that read:

Hi everyone,

I’m so sorry to clog up emails, but I was hoping to get some help finding a missing watermelon!  I brought it into the building this morning and then had it in the elevator up to the 4th floor and then after that, I think I lost it… has anyone seen it?  If so, please return it to the 3rd floor. 

Sorry to take your time!! (can’t believe I lost a watermelon!!!)

As soon as I wrote the email, I thought, “People are going to think this is a joke!  It sounds ridiculous!”

And then I got emails and responses starting that night into the next day of people dying laughing, cracking jokes like “Maybe the Gingerbread man ran away with it.”  It was hilarious.

So I found out that our maintenance guy found it in the kitchen the day before and stored it away for another party later this week because he didn’t know whose it was!  He thought it was a watermelon left by others for that party.  I tracked him down, and he returned the watermelon and we got to eat it for our party tonight.  After recovering the watermelon, I wrote this email back out to the whole agency:

The case of the missing watermelon has been solved.  Thanks to N__ for rescuing the abandoned watermelon.

And this is my last silly email of the day.  🙂

Thanks for all your well wishes in the meantime.  It meant a lot to know so many people cared about our poor missing watermelon.

We’ll enjoy it tonight at our party for seniors!

And here’s the wayward watermelon:

This fiasco was quite funny and lots of people said it made their day with a good laugh.  But it made me think about my post the other day about slowing down.  What if that watermelon had been something more valuable?  My rushing through things, trying to multitask was going to get me into trouble soon.  This was definitely a case of trying to rush through and do too many things at once.  A funny story for now, but how quickly that could change…

#27: Toe and Carpet

Today was not a day of slowing down.  The beginning of a crazy week at work.  Must try again tomorrow.

I took this photo just for fun today.  Not sure what made me take this one.  Kind of looks like the head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex eating my foot.

I’ve been learning a lot lately about how much interpersonal conflict comes from reactions people have to others which is really driven by their own fears, insecurities, issues, challenges, or even as simply as not being given a chance to air their own opinions or thoughts.  Once you actually name the fear, insecurity, issue, or challenge or give the other person a chance to air their opinions or thoughts, the air is cleared and the conflict disappears.

I’m in a situation now where I’m moving fast on some business matters without giving much chance to others to air their fears and concerns.  A lot of the business is being done over email rather than in person or even on the phone because there just isn’t time.  And in the process, I’m jarring a lot of nerves and rustling feathers that probably would be inevitable because of the way I’m handling the whole situation.  If I had more time and energy, I’d be talking to each of the individuals whose feathers are being rustled, check in and make sure to understand how they’re feeling about the abrupt and quick changes, and assuage their fears.  But there really isn’t the time.

I’m actually depending on trust I have in the bank with these people to ensure them (over email) that my intent is not destructive, negative, harmful, but is really because there just isn’t time (or money) to take my (our) time on things.  And so far, I’ve been able to ride on that extra “trust”-savings I have.  However, I’m not sure how long that will last.  Will it last till the end of August when I leave it all behind?

So dealing with interpersonal conflict– what matters:

  • having trust that was built up over time through genuine relationship building.  This comes from years of listening, being positive, not taking things personally, being genuine and honest in all aspects of a relationship.
  • getting at the “heart” of the matter— what’s really bothering that person?  When they say something, there’s usually an underlying message, and the hard part is finding out what’s at the heart.
  • not taking it personally myself.  I’ve often found that taking things personally is usually the wrong thing to do because most of the time it isn’t about me, it’s really about other person and something they’re dealing with.  (Well, I can say that because I don’t think I do mean things to people usually.  At least not intentionally!)
  • taking the time to communicate from a place of genuine care.  And if it doesn’t work, then let it go.  But it takes time and genuine care to hash through miscommunication and layers of issues and other fogginess.  This can’t be rushed for sure.

And on that note, we come back to “s l o w i n g   d o w n.”

I realized after thinking a bit more about my entry yesterday that I slow down for others.  But I don’t slow down for myself.  And I need to do that.  In fact, I rush mostly when it comes to myself.  Not giving myself time to relax, reflect, and replenish the energy that is depleted from rushing.  Interesting…

#26: Sesame Soba and Slowing Down

Another beautiful, lazy Sunday.  And this is my dinner.  Lettuce and radish from my CSA, cucumbers from Costco, eggs from Stop and Shop, and noodles from H-Mart.  Topped with a homemade sesame dressing.  Yum!  But I had  late snack of pita chips and hummus so I didn’t finish my meal.  Anyways, it was an enjoyable meal.

Thought of the day: I rush through things.  Or rather, I do things fast.  Those two aren’t always the same, but sometimes in doing things fast, I realize I’m rushing.

  • I eat fast.  And I mean fast.  I barely breathe while I’m eating.  I’m always the first to finish when eating with friends.  And at the end of any meal, I ALWAYS think, “Wow, I should eat slower.  I don’t think I even tasted what I was eating!”  Literally, every time I eat I think that.
  • I work fast.  This means typing, emailing, writing down things, making agendas and plans, thinking, discussing.  Everything associated with working– it’s done fast.
  • I walk fast.  I’m always ahead of a group when I’m walking with others.  I just can’t help it.
  • I shop fast.  I go into a store (grocery, mall, anything) with a mission, a shopping list, and I just shop until I’m done.  I don’t like to browse, roam the aisles, look for other things to buy.  I. Am. On. A. Mission.  Don’t stop me.
  • I relax fast.  When I get a few hours to relax, I read, surf the web, and generally bounce around from thing to thing because I get distracted.  It’s hard for me to sit for hours and just sit.  But when I do get to do it, it’s great.

There are many reasons that I do this:

  • trying to be efficient and not waste time on “unnecessary things;”
  • wanting to get to whatever’s next (although that’s an unending endeavor because there’s always something next);
  • wanting to get something over with (both good and bad things);
  • thinking about something else so I don’t focus on the task at hand and just go through the motions quickly;
  • feeling pressured that I have to do things one after another or else things will fall apart.

But I want to focus on taking more time to do things.  I think there would be benefits to my own mental health and physical and spiritual well being.

  • I could stop and smell the roses.  Yes, cliche, but so true.  The times that I do stop and take time, I see the beauty in the mundane, like anthills!  I just need to consciously tell myself, “OK, walk slower.  Look around.  Drink in the world around you! Enjoy the food!”
  • I would be less stressed.
  • I would feel less like everything depends on me.  (This is, after all, a totally self-imposed idea that I need to let go of.  The world does NOT revolve around me!)
  • I would remember more of the little things.  I have eaten in some good restaurants but because I eat so fast, I don’t often remember my meals.  Maybe slowing down would help me remember those things.
  • I could have more time to reflect and be in the present moment.

I know this isn’t easy for me. I’ve been living this way at least for the last 10-15, even longer, years.  Life just got faster and faster when I went to college.  And then once technology became ubiquitous in our lives and I started working, it just zoomed at an exponential rate.

I’ve got to slow down.

s l o w  d o w n

s    l    o    w        d    o    w    n

s            l            o            w                        d            o            w            n

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