Perhaps it’s due to the brisker walking in the winter chill. Or perhaps it’s because it is Thanksgiving Weekend in the USA right now. But I found myself reflecting this past week on the notion of Pace of Life.
It started last week. I found myself rushing home after class, dodging slow-walking pedestrians along the narrow sidewalks of downtown Toronto. Half way home, an older woman walking very very slow, caught my attention. Initially, I felt frustrated, being caught behind her, waiting for the right opportunity to sprint past her. Then, a different feeling overwhelmed me. I felt sorry for her; understanding that her slow pace was a result of her old age and in no way intentional on her behalf.
I felt weird about my feelings. Was it right for me to feel sad for her? Not really. I don’t think it does anyone any justice feeling bad for their old age. But there was something unique about that moment. Walking slowly behind her, I found myself observing my surroundings. I saw store displays and the wide variety of products available deep in Chinatown. I noticed the faces and the emotions of the people walking by me. For a moment, I started enjoying the fact that I was following a slow old lady, because it gave me time to slow-down and appreciate the things around me.
This is the point I wish to make.
“In this busy world of ‘go! go! go!’ , slow down and appreciate the moment.”
Rather than falling victim to the Busy Trap, focus less on being busy and more on being present. Stop multi-tasking in team meetings. Focus on what you’re team is saying and feeling. Stop responding to texts and checking your news feed during lunch with your friends. Enjoy the company of the person you’re with. In a world where so many things are going on at the same time, take a step back and focus on one thing at a time.
Let’s kill this notion that busy equals productive, faster is better, and slow means lazy. Every once in a while, let’s slow down the pace and take some time, even if it’s a short time, to really appreciate the moment.
I guess that’s what they meant by “Take the time to smell the flowers”…