birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Recovering workaholic

I am a recovering workaholic.

I was brought up to exceed expectations at school, at church, at home.

It has taken me practice and discipline to learn how to slow down.

There was a time when, whenever I took time off or relaxed, I would get sick. It was as if I was allergic to slowing down. Almost like a case of the flu, I would need to spend a day or two in bed until I could adjust.

For a long time contemplation was not part of my life. I understood what the idea meant, but did not see the point of it. Committed to hard work, I was focused on completing projects, getting results, making a difference. The process was something which needed to take as little time as possible so we could get to the good part at the end.

I believed life was about getting the best results as quickly as possible. In general, I thought, that took hard work.

It was only when I got to a point in my life when I realized how unhappy I was, despite all my work, that I saw things needed to change. There were gradual steps in that direction, but the understanding came as a dramatic revelation.

I began learning to slow down. With help from wise friends and teachers, I have begun slowing down. Each day is a new beginning.


Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.