This morning I was driving to work and ended up following a school bus for a bit. The funny thing was, as it came to a stop in front of me, as they do when they’re picking kids up, I thought to myself, damn, how can I get around this thing. I went on thinking, OK, if this happens again, as it has many times in the past, I’ll cut through the bank parking lot and avoid this wait. Then I paused… and I thought… am I in such a hurry that I can’t even wait the extra 3 minutes this stop will take? I wasn’t even running late. In fact, I was early, because a girl has to have enough time to stop to get her chai on the way to work. So I knew I wasn’t going to be late, even with the stops the school bus made. And I had to ask myself, what’s with that? Why are we always in such a dang hurry?
That thought, as others have in the past, got me thinking. We rush around all the time. Get up in the morning and rush to get ready for work. Push leaving the house to the last minute and then rush to get to work. Rush through phone calls at work to get to the next thing, and the next, and the next. Rush toward 5 o’clock to then rush home after work. Rush to get dinner done, take the dog out, possibly get some exercise, spend some time with our spouses to actually talk, and then rush to get to bed so we can rush to get to sleep so we can start the whole process over. I want to know… what’s the hurry?
I find myself in these moments thinking and realizing, if I’m not careful, I’ll miss something spectacular and small because I’m in too much of a hurry to notice it. If I’m not careful I’ll be moving to the next thing before I’ve finished the thing I’m on and not really experience what I’m actually doing. If I’m not careful I’ll rush through a day, or a week, or a year and then not really remember what happened during that time because I wasn’t fully paying attention. If I’m not careful, I’m going to rush right through my life, and miss most of it.
I need to remember, as we all need to remember, to slow down. To not take every little thing so seriously. To appreciate the moment. To, when I’m stopped behind a bus, look around, see the sky, notice the flowering trees, look at how beautiful everything is after the rain… to drink in life. That’s living. Not the rush, but the pause. Not being in a hurry, but being present. And when I’m given a moment, like I was this morning, I need to stop… realize that it’s a great opportunity, realize that I’m living, right then… as I am, right now. This is life… fingers hitting the keys, the quiet of my office during the lunch hour, the sound of birds singing outside, the feeling of my stomach growling, the beauty of the sunshine outside hitting the river. This is life, and I’m in no hurry to let this moment, or any others I can capture, rush away from me.