resolution #6: slow down and relax

December 31, 2010

channeling my inner leo
i’ve made this resolution a million times before. call me optimistic — but i believe that 2011 might be my year for finally putting thoughts into action:

quote & manifesto on my wall
i feel like so much of what makes life enjoyable vs. not is encompassed within this one aspect of how we choose to live: the pace.

as leo babauta points out in one of my very favorite zen habits posts (how not to hurry):

“Is a book better if you speed read it, or if you take your time and get lost in it?

Is a song better if you skim through it, or if you take the time to really listen?

Is food better if you cram it down your throat, or if you savor every bite and really appreciate the flavor?

Is your work better if you’re trying to do 10 things at once, or if you really pour yourself into one important task?

Is your time spent with a friend or loved one better if you have a rushed meeting interrupted by your emails and text messages, or if you can relax and really focus on the person?

Life as a whole is better if you go slowly, and take the time to savor it, appreciate every moment. That’s the simplest reason to slow down.”

we rush around so that we can do more things, have more things, be first in line — only to find out that there are no medals given out for breaking the tape in life.

and so my final resolution for 2011 is to be aware of the pace at which i am living life, and make a conscious effort to slow down.

i am struggling a bit with making this goal as concrete as some of the others, but i’ll try! let’s see . . .

measurable ➜ during times and activities where i tend to rush (examples: making dinner; driving to work; cleaning up; end-of-day tasks at work), i would like to stop, breathe, and make a conscious effort to slow down in what i’m doing. i would also like to make a point of having some unscheduled down time every week.

inspirational ➜ i know from experience that i am happier and life is more enjoyable when i do this! furthermore, when i don’t rush, i produce better quality work, and . . . i am nicer, too.

concrete ➜ i will write about my progress with this goal at least weekly, and i will schedule weekly down-time into my planner, as ridiculous as that may sound.

realistic ➜ i am not aiming for some sort of perfect buddha state; my goal is just that i make an effort at described above. the focus is on the process, not the end result! (because that’s what matters anyway, right?)

obtainable ➜ i don’t think this will be the case, but if i find that life is just too crammed to allow for this resolution to work, i will change/reduce my commitments to make this goal attainable.

here goes nothing!

recap of all 6 resolutions for the new year tomorrow!

best of 2010
i already did a highlights post, but thought it would also be fun to mention some other favorites of 2010.

favorite 5 albums of the year . . .

✰ vampire weekend, “contra”
✰ broken bells, “broken bells”

✰ best coast, “crazy for you”

✰ beach house, “teen dream”

✰ arcade fire, “the suburbs”
(note: some of these are 2008 or 2009 releases, but i watched them all in ’10!)


crazy heart

revolutionary road



true grit
the namesake, jhumpa lahiri

the happiness project, gretchen rubin

dance, dance, dance, haruki murakami

in defense of food, michael pollan

168 hours: you have more time than you think, laura vanderkam (i both hated and loved this book – but it definitely made me think!)

what were your media favorites of the year?

plans for today
a low-key mix of apartment therapy catchup (including closet weed-out), relaxation, and celebration (at home!).



workout: i hit the gym and ran my allotted 3 miles @ 9:13/mi pace, and followed up with some weights:
– 2 x 12 pushups
– 2 x 12 squats (10 lb weights each hand)
– 2 x 10 seated rows (50 lbs)
– 2 x 12 double lunges (10 lb weights each)
– 2 x 12 lat pull-downs (55 lbs)
– 2 x 12 plank –> tucks on ball

cozy favorite: i am never disappointed when we go to panzanella — i love the restaurant’s warm and inviting vibe as well as the menu filled with fresh and seasonal comfort food with a bit of an italian edge.

josh is so intent on the menu that he didn’t even notice my stealth photography . . .

doesn’t it just look comfortable in there?
after enjoying plenty of olive oil & balsamic dipped bread, we split a california salad with caesar dressing (josh’s choice). i loved the creamy goat cheese!

i had really wanted pizza, and this “3 fall green” pie did not disappoint! loaded with spinach, kale, chard as well as both goat cheese and mozzarella, i managed to eat my way through half this pie:

josh chose the gnocchi with butternut squash, truffle oil, and parmesan. you can tell when he REALLY likes an entrée by the fork blur (ie, he wouldn’t stop eating long enough for a still photo!)

yum. well, we certainly ate well this year. i can only hope for equal deliciousness in 2011 . . .


  • Reply caribbean princess March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Shu, this is a great resolution for 2011. It is something I have been trying in my life as well although it is a bit easier as I am not tied to patients or hospitals in public health!
    And anonymous your words of wisdom were inspiring to me. Even though it was addressed to Sarah I will copy and paste it and keep it in my Filofax, to read again if I am feeling frustrated with a situation. It builds on something that my parents taught me. It was be respectful to everyone 🙂 it is probably why I didn&#39t have too many problems when I was a more junior dr and makes life so much easier and nicer! Happy New Year!!

  • Reply loreejo March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    I don&#39t comment much, mostly b/c I can&#39t seem to comment from my work pc *blushing*. Your blog is among the favorites of my reader, as in, when I have 993 unread items, I&#39m sure to read yours before marking the others as "read". You&#39re inspirational, in a genuine sort of way. Wishing you the best for 2011, and that you realize all your dreams.

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    anon: thank you for the thoughtful comment – i will take it to heart. of note, i will say that generally my interactions with nurses have been positive ones! (i even have at least one nurse reader that could probably vouch 🙂 ). furthermore, i have been lucky enough to generally work with very good nurses that i respect a lot (and who taught me a ton during residency).

    but: i need to use the same philosophy when dealing with an 11 pm phone call from someone who &#39just realized now&#39 that they were out of insulin with no prescription. your attitude on getting out of bed (being thankful you have the skills to help someon) is inspirational and something i will strive for.

    caribbean: from what i have read of your writing, i can only imagine you are a total sweetheart to work with! also an inspiration.

    loreejo: thank you so much — as someone who cherrypicks her own reader, this means a lot! i truly appreciate it.

  • Reply mml March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    thanks for sharing the "how not to hurry habits." i am going to put those up so i can re-read them daily! Happy New Year&#39s Eve!

  • Reply Nan March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Happy New Year, Sarah! I so enjoy reading your blog each day and I found your new years eve post today to be so poignant. I love the idea of resolving not to hurry our way through life… I also want to jot down that zen note for my new planner this year.

  • Reply shorty March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    I just started reading your blog but have enjoyed every word of it! Thank you for sharing your adventures this year! I can&#39t wait to see what 2011 brings!

    I also want to thank you for the simple gift of acceptance of myself. I know that sounds so odd but reading your blog the last few months has really grown me. I have changed how I think about myself through this blog. I embrace who I am so much more now than ever before. Thank you! Have a wonderful new year!!!

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