Grinding Gears- “Festina Lente” and Giving Yourself Permission to Pause

Good evening, friends and neighbors! I hope everyone had a great New Year, and is ready to get 2019 going…

…because 2019 sure is.

Animated GIF of Samuel L. Jackson saying "Everybody Strap In"

I’m the kind of guy that likes to have multiple irons in the fire at a given time. Editing on the first draft of my book is nearly finished, and I’m still looking to have it ready for you all by the end of the month.

Like the new website, by the way? Since transferring from Weebly to WordPress, one of my ongoing tasks has been (once again…) going through my entire blog (including the restaurant reviews!) and editing, re-catagorizing, and tagging them so you all can explore and find what you’re looking for.

All of this on top of my day job, building up for the future YouTube show, and all the needs and requirements of day-to-day living- my days are pretty packed.

I’d mentioned how doing absolutely nothing on Christmas Day was a big deal for me… and this is why.

Image of a quote written in crayon that reads "Do what you love and you'll work super fucking hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally."

I don’t mind having projects and deadlines. I like keeping on top of them, and the simple act of checking something off a list has been shown to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter that communicates joy and happiness.

It feels REALLY GOOD to get things DONE.

There is, however, a downside to that.

How does it feel to miss your goals? To set tasks for yourself and fail to complete them not because of laziness or lack of will- how could that be possible when success feels so good?- but because you simply lack the energy?

I’ll tell you now- no matter how tired you are, it SUCKS.

When you have the desire and will to get things done, but simply can’t whomp up the energy to focus and do it, it doesn’t just suck, it’s disappointing.

When you have yourself convinced that you can- you must- get all your projects done as a reflection of your self-worth, or as a part of your identity, the simple act of taking a break or resting can feel like a willful betrayal or self-sabotage.

In a nutshell, you feel guilty for being human.

If that sounds completely and utterly foolish… it is. Knowing that makes it worse.
I’m disappointed in myself, and I feel stupid for feeling disappointed over something stupid.” 

One personal flaw that I’ve been at least partially aware of for a while is my impatience- particularly with processes and with myself. I’m extremely deterministic, and it’s incredibly difficult for me to “sit on my hands” and just “see what happens.” It comes up in my work and projects very often.

“What can I be doing to move things along?”
I need to be doing something.”
“This needs to go faster- how can I make things faster?”
“Why am I not getting this? This should be easy for me.”

Late this past year, I realized that I needed to learn to let things take their time, and I that I create more stress and damage by pushing and rushing than I would if I just waited a moment.

Yes, this DOES sound absolutely antithetical to the life of a cook. “Always be moving.” “Have a sense of urgency.” “Do it right, do it now, or do it over.”

Just as important when things need to be done, however… is knowing when to stop for a moment.

This is when it is important to learn to pace yourself.

 

Festina Lente”–  or “make haste slowly,” is this concept in a nutshell, and it’s one more reminder that’s hanging up next to my desk.

A classical motto, it has been used by people, leaders, and emperors throughout time including Augustus, Titus, and the Medicis. Augustus laid out the philosophy behind it best-

“That which has been done well has been done quickly enough.”

 

It’s great to have goals, but be realistic about what you can and can’t get done in how much time.

Give everything- including yourself- the time it needs and deserves. Haste will show more than skill. Set your priorities, and stick to them.

If you’re doing what you love, you deserve to love doing it.

 

Stay Classy,

The BHB's Top Hat Logo Signature

 

 

 

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