28 July 2009

Slowing down

The pace of life is fast. We’re on a fairly constant schedule to get up in the morning, get to work on time, complete our assignments, respond to our email queue, generate and develop new ideas, drive home, run errands, feed the animals, water the lawn, pay the bills, do the laundry and in between this hectic mix of activity, we try to exercise, socialize, celebrate and explore alone and with others. Once in a while we even let go long enough to step into another existence for a few days; an existence that does not even resemble our lives. It’s called vacation.

That’s where I am now. Poolside on a hot Texas summer day, but perched up high enough in the hills to benefit from a comfortable breeze. I have not ventured far from this spot for nearly 7 hours. Everything I want is nearby – a cool drink, sunglasses, the sparkling blue swimming pool, a lounge chair in the shade and a shared smile with my lovely partner.

For the rest of the world, life is still moving as quickly as before. But I have stepped away temporarily; I am not moving at all. I have slowed down long enough to feel the sun warm my skin, watch hummingbirds chase one another, listen to the lonesome summer song of the cicadas, and gaze out at the horizon.

People often engage in fantasies while on vacation: how might we convert our vacation into a way of life? I don’t think I’m much interested in attempting to come up with the answer to that question, but I am certainly interested in maintaining a balance between the fast pace of regular life and the restfulness of slowing down.

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