winner-1445797_1280Running a race is all about winning said race, right? I ran in college, but now you couldn’t get me to run if there were a horde of freakishly fast Walking Dead headed in my direction. For the sake of my musings, let’s make the race a metaphor for life. The faster you run, or the more you rush, the sooner you get to the end. Everyone wants the gold medal, but very few are concerned with how they perform during the race.

Last month, I rushed through a task I normally spend two days on. My newsletter. You might have received a glittering email from me with some exciting news about The Cupid Chronicles, an exclusive excerpt from Lila Felix, and a free novel from S.M. Boyce. Sounds amazing, right? And let me tell you, I thought I’d done an amazing job putting it all together.

That’s how we usually run a race, focused on the finish line.

The problem with focusing on the finish line when you’re not in a literal race is the collateral damage that we leave by the wayside. While watching the Olympics this summer, my heart went out to the individuals who gave up their own race to help a teammate. Getting to the finish line was important to them and they didn’t give up, but they did make sure they brought others with them. I just got goosebumps! Can you imagine the world we’d live in if we all agreed to bring someone up alongside us? What would life be like if we didn’t RUSH, pushing others out of our way, but holding on to each other for support?screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-2-06-35-pm

That newsletter I mentioned earlier went out to over a thousand readers with a grammatical error in the first line. I’m a writer. I’m also an English teacher. But guess what? While I waited for people to unsubscribe to my newsletter, and wallowed in worry over the mistake life went on. No one replied to the email with complaints about my shortcomings, and no one made fun of me on social media. Rushing had only really affected me, and not in a good way.

To help this personal lesson stick, I came up with an acrostic. It’s served as a great reminder the past few weeks. I need to slow down and stop allowing stress to set my pace. If you’re being chased down by anxiety and pressure, you might want to use this acrostic too!

Reach out for help, because being busy is just as much a culprit as being stressed.

Understand that you get to make your own schedule, and give yourself permission to say no.

Save some time for yourself, stop thinking of the blank space in your calendar as negative space.

Hold on to someone you trust, and let them speak truth into your life.

I’d much rather rush this way! Wouldn’t you? It will take some guts to get vulnerable because life isn’t meant to be spent alone. Reaching out to others isn’t a sign of weakness, but of strength. You don’t have to do life all by yourself. If you’ll choose to run your race with a trusted friend you’ll probably enjoy the journey more!