Late Summer 2006
A friend of mine was recently ticketed for going, let's just say, a significant amount over the speed limit. What makes this so absurd, rather than just an unfortunate situation, is that she was driving to yoga class. Like a bat out of hell. Hellbent for leather. The irony of it escapes no one: racing like crazy to get to yoga class, so she can slow down, go inward, connect...
I would venture to say that, in our own ways, many of us do much the same thing: ''intend'' and ''act'' in divergent ways. We intend to live more in the moment, but multi-task like there is no tomorrow. We intend to have a more positive outlook on life, but expose ourselves to the depressingly horrendous news (much of which we don't need to know) that the media is only so eager to shove down our throats. We intend to be better and more compassionate people, but find ourselves immersed in the same gossip with the same people at the same water cooler because, well, that's just part of our routine.
Don't for a minute think that I've got this whole thing figured out; I have so many good intentions and yet act in ways that bear no connection to what I have told myself I will do. My main stumbling block is feeling that there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish what I want to do. This sense of not-enough-time colors a remarkably large portion of my life and it shows up in all sorts of ways. Not only do I end most days with a gnawing sense of non-completion, but friends tell me that I walk faster than anyone they've ever known. It is a fact: I, like my speeding-ticket friend, do tend to race through life.
I know myself well enough at this point to refrain from making a pie-in-the-sky commitment to ''slow down.'' Having ''slowing down'' on my mental list of things to do would just create yet another thing to get done. I can see myself now: hurrying up even more to squeeze in enough time to slow down. In the process of understanding the absurdity of hurrying up to slow down, I've come to the conclusion that what's important for me is to be content with noticing small wonders and drinking them in, if only for a few minutes: a perfect and crystalline dawn, making all the green lights on the way to work, and, after years of trying to lure frogs to our backyard pond and finally giving up, realizing that one brave little guy (or girl) has finally taken up residence there.
While it can be a challenge for me to appreciate the big picture a lot of the time, I'm grateful that I've come to the realization that my days are made up of countless small blessings... and that I've learned to savor a few of them.