Vertigo: Slow Down You Move Too Fast

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My default speed out in the world is FAST. Customers marvel at how quickly I answer their emails and process quotes and orders. Out on the book floor, I’m zippy at the cash register and wrap gifts in a flash. If I perceive a customer is not inclined or able to trot after me, I offer to retrieve what they need while they wait. I walk at a clipped pace through the store and sometimes lose customers who have tried to follow me. I’ll apologize saying I’m a New Yorker and still walk like one.

When things get busy, I may get annoyed by colleagues who don’t seem to know how to move more quickly and cut their conversations short. As if they are tourists from Boise and lumbering down 42nd Street, I want them to step up the pace. But the fact is, some of them are our best salespeople, engaging customers, taking their time as if that person is the only one. They do not rush through their transactions, they make contact.

When I get home after work, I try to slow down. I attempt to recover myself. Not my high functioning, efficient employee, A-type personality, self — rather, the self I aspire to become all the time. I get better practice on the weekends – taking my time, doing my best to pay attention to each moment, to the world around and within me.

Last week, a bout of vertigo required I shift gears. In the wee hours of the morning I turned in bed and felt something in my head become unhinged, a weird little shifting in my ears. The world began to spin from my pillow. By morning this sensation had passed enough so I was able to get up and go to work but I’ve yet to completely shake a slight vertigo. I have had to slow down. Rather than barreling on at my usual breakneck speed, I’ve been moving more consciously, carefully stepping through the day, lest I start the spinning again. I feel as if I’m carefully balancing something inside of me.

And I am: life. I am balancing my life. And what’s the rush? Where do I hope to get to? I am here now and if you are here with me too, for whatever our transaction or pleasure, I will try and be completely present. I have to because otherwise I may spiral off. Don’t worry, I will still answer my emails efficiently, I’ll just walk a little slower through the book stacks. Along the way, I may recommend my favorite reads and learn what yours are. I will remember, as I keep my head steady and avoid jerky movements, that our time together, like the end of the day, will come fast enough without me rushing towards it.

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6 Responses to Vertigo: Slow Down You Move Too Fast

  1. Vertigo is horrid! i’ve had it a couple of times, What made it apparent and also eventually cured it, was yoga. Somehow some fluid in my ear had arrived in the wrong place, and moving my head into various different positions seemed to get it to the right place again. If you try it, make sure you’re sitting and holding onto something – hate the whirlies!

  2. Sorry to hear about the vertigo. That is so no fun. I hope you get to feeling better. Thank you for the reminder to slow down.

  3. I had the same thing last weekend, after several weeks of being on ‘GO’ only. I was forced to stop and lie down, and sleep-Oh glorious sleep! for hours. Our bodies will clearly tell us when enough is enough. Glad you are feeling better.

  4. Take good care Tricia — I hope your vertigo is a temporary phase. I love the title of this post though — such a good reminder for this fellow Type A.

  5. Lea Sylvestro says:

    I HOPE your vertigo has passed – it’s a terrible, unnerving sensation. Your piece is so well-timed. I have been feeling pressed to…hurry up! Get things done! What? Why? I don’t know what my problem is. Breathe, breathe. Thanks for another reminder. XO

  6. LaVagabonde says:

    Ugh, vertigo. It’s a very unsettling condition. Hope it passes for you.

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