Why are we so driven? Why are we in such a hurry to get a promotion? A bigger office? The corner office? Before we even know how to do the job. Why is it, we’re no sooner back from one holiday, we’re already booking the next? Before we’re even over the jet lag.
Why aren’t we ever satisfied? Content, to rest a while.
Why is it, after playing a great game of golf on Saturday, we hit buckets and buckets and buckets of balls, so we can play a better game on Sunday? Without taking a minute to enjoy the round we had. Why are we so anxious to get to the top of the mountain, we don’t even notice the beautiful scenery along the way.
It reminds me of those tours. You know the ones. See 14 cities in 10 days. The minute your plane lands, you get herded into a bus, along with 40 other tourists, with name tags, baseball caps and cameras slung around their necks. You whiz by all the standard tourist attractions, with barely enough time to point and click, through the window. It’s just one, constant blur.
No time for any exploring. No time to mingle with locals. The only time you get out of the bus, is when it’s time to go to bed.
Or when a stop for gas leaves you time to either stretch your legs for a minute, or have a quick bio break. Thank God, because one more cobblestone street and your bladder would surely explode.
But theoretically, when you’d come home, you’d be able to impress your friends as you ticked off, on your fingers, all the places you’d ‘seen’. Even though you would have ‘seen’ more if you’d stayed home and read a Frommer’s guide book. Or watched the National Geographic Channel.
We’re rushing our lives away. We’re speed living. We’re in constant motion. We’re in fast forward.
Hell! What fun is that? When are we going to figure out, it’s not about how much you can cram into a lifetime. It’s about how we enjoyed it. Whether or not we took the time to savour each experience. Each moment.
We don’t guzzle wine. Why are we ‘guzzling’ when it comes to our lives?
Yesterday I was reading a blog. It’s written by a young woman. A thrill seeker. A true adventurer. She has done things I wouldn’t have the courage to even think about, let alone try. She lives for these experiences. And she participates with gusto.
But hers is an unquenchable thirst.
I’m not sure how long I’ve been following her blog. It’s several months, at least. Maybe as much as five or six. And she’s been on the go for most of it. Traveling, and trying everything from swimming with sharks to flying an airplane. And anything and everything else you can, and can’t, imagine. In her latest post she talked about how all the ‘burning of candles on both ends’ had finally worn her down. But not enough to stop her from another escapade. Another ‘fix’.
Knowing she wasn’t feeling well, she went for it anyway. Except she never got to finish it. She was just too sick. “So what was the point?” I asked myself.
But she’s good with it. No recriminations. Says she’d do the same thing all over again.
Okay. It’s her life. Her choice. But reading her story made me think. About myself. The life I’ve lived. The life still to come. The choices I’ve made. My ‘style’ of living. My philosophy. And what I observe around me.
And I think we need to lighten up on the gas pedal. We should hit the ‘pause’ button more often than we do. We should slow down, long enough to enjoy where we’ve been, where we are, and anticipate, with pleasure, where we’re going. I know what I’m about to say is a cliche, but it’s true; and I can’t think of a better way of expressing the thought, so forgive me.
Life isn’t just about the destination. It’s also about the journey. Relish both. Stop, for a moment, and smell the roses.