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In a Rush......

"In a Rush......" Appropriate Title, Non? Image by law_keven via Flickr

One reason I don’t advocate trying to save the year is because it causes us to rush even more than the holiday hustle & bustle on top of everyday life. I can’t speak for everyone, but the first thing I do when I find myself hopelessly off track is panic. My mind starts racing and it’s nearly impossible to stop it. One thought keeps rushing around my head: What to do? What to do?

Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who goes through the wrringer every now and then. I get knocked down (but I get up again, you’re never ever going to keep me down…ahem, sorry, back to the lecture at hand :D) or run into unexpected detours and roadblocks. Some of them you just don’t see coming, even if you should have. I had gotten caught up with my bills at the end of 2009 and intened to start my 401(k), an emergency fund, and pay down student loan debt in 2010. What ended up happening is that I had an overdraft crisis–enough to take over half of my biweekly paycheck in fees to fix. I was playing catch up again. Add to taht a rent check debacle (or two, as it turned out), my car insurance doubling, and various other slights and all those goals went for a ride in the handbasket, if you know what I mean.

My immediate reaction was to try to replace that money IMMEDIATELY. I have to get back even and ahead–NOW! Hurry up and think of something, stupid! Enter vicious cycle of cash advances as overdraft protection and spending money for food and soap. Enter paying “a little something” on bills. Enter not getting anywhere.

Once I slowed my mind down through a mixture of prayer, scripture, yoga (hard to thinks about anything but breathing and not losing your balance :D), and faith, I began to seek the blessings (I still have a job, I can consult on the side) and make a plan of  action.

The first thing one has to do is slow down. Change happens over time. It takes time to develop new habits. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that jazz. But it’s easier said than done for some people when things are still falling down around them (me, I’m an old hand at slowing down & regaining perspective; my life has fallen down too many times not to know the drill).

So how do you slow down? I’ll give you a few tips in the next post. Until then, tell me how you stop panicking and start tackling the challenges in your life.