The other night, my boyfriend Matt and I were playing Rummikub, which is one of our favorite games. The name of which he so much insists on pronouncing rummy-cub that I’ve actually just given up and started calling it that too.
I wonder if one day our future kids will ever be at a friend’s house and asked to play a game of rummi-cube and just be SO CONFUSED. Like, “WTF?! This WHOLE time I thought that game was called rummy-cub! My parents are idiots!” God, I hope that happens one day. Actually, I’m realizing in this moment that that thought will be one that he experiences when he’s in that phase of beginning to believe that his parents are total idiots. Only to then…one day have the very experience I’m having right now, which is that this WHOLE time, I’ve never realized that there are things I grew up with that are my parents’ inside jokes. That my parents are both smarter and funnier than I will probably ever get to see. That one time, before I knew them, they were young and in love and cracking all kinds of jokes, both good and bad, over games of skill and chance.
But none of this is why I started to write. I am writing to share that while playing rummikub the other night, I had an interesting experience. Right at the beginning, while I was drawing my fourteen tiles from the bag, I had this moment of panic, feeling like I was taking too long. I got a little less coordinated as I tried to move faster, fumbling with my tiles and being like, “In getting flustered, I am actually going slower than I was before!” And then…I laughed at myself. I had this moment of, like, “What am I DOING?!”
I think in that moment I actually laughed out loud (and for the record, I just accidentally typed “thinked” when writing this sentence and THAT made me laugh out loud too). And when I laughed, Matt must have asked what was funny, because I told him, “I just witnessed an old pattern coming up.”
I talk about my personal growth CONSTANTLY these days, so he’s used to me yapping on and on about patterns and triggers all the time, even on date night. Especially on date night. Anyway, I told him that in the past, I’ve often felt like I’m taking too long. Like…in life. That I’ve rushed through so many things, telling myself to hurry up because I’m inconveniencing someone.
I explained to him that that’s SO true, that now, I’m very conscious of any impulse to rush. That I’ve spent the better part of a year and a half walking around, saying to myself in my head, “Slow down. Slow down. Take your time. There is more than enough time. You are not inconveniencing anyone. And if you are, they can feel free to say so.” Literally. I’ve been talking myself into slowing down, one rushed moment at a time, for over a year.
Matt kind of looked at me like I was crazy when I shared this. I mean, it was a loving look. Just slightly concerned. And I had to laugh again, because I know he must think that I sound like a crazy person like 75% of the time these days. Sometimes I agree.
Anyway, that pattern, of rushing through my life as a courtesy to people who are potentially inconvenienced by me taking my own sweet time, is one I’ve mostly released. So much so, that this whole rummikub experience has made me realize that I’ve actually stopped feeling rushed for the most part. Like, in life. I don’t have as much self-talk around it, because, in the biggest sense imaginable, I have slowed down.
As I type this I wonder if I’m putting too much stock in this seemingly tiny realization. And in answer to that question, I try to name what that realization is. What am I aware of now that I wasn’t aware of before?
The awareness is that I have shifted a once HUGE pattern in my life. A pattern that once affected me tangibly in most of my waking hours. In a way that didn't feel good in my body. That made me tense and tired. A pattern so old that I don’t remember when it began and probably couldn’t find the specific root even if I tried.
I have shifted this sneaky, bad-feeling pattern SO much so that when, during a game of rummy-cub I caught myself feeling momentarily rushed, I caught that motherfucker SO fast and shut it down SO quickly that it actually made me laugh out loud.
There have been so many things about myself through the years that I’ve felt resigned about. So many things I thought I’d never be able to change. And just like I made the commitment last October to let go of the belief that I need to rush through life because me going at my own speed is an inconvenience to everyone around me, I’m now committing to releasing the belief that there is absolutely anything that I don’t like about myself that I can’t change.
I won rummikub, by the way. It was a good game.
What patterns are you shifting in your life? Leave a comment and let me know!
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