We live day by day in constant hurry. We are usually late to do something or go somewhere. We are usually stuck in traffic whether you are driving or being a passenger. Everyone is on the road. Everyone needs to be somewhere – NOW!! We are constantly rushing, we are constantly doing things quickly. Sometimes we do not even enjoy the moment we live because we are already thinking about the next thing we have got to do. So what’s the rush anyway???
I had one of those moments when I just stopped myself from rushing and I had to tell myself: “slow down”. I didn’t actually have a time limit this time. I was alone walking and there was no deadline to what I was doing. All I needed to do is just enjoy the moment. So I did. I savoured every second. I stopped thinking for the most part and just let myself be. I noticed things are different. I paid attention to more things around me. I found myself living.
A lot of times we are so consumed with the tasks ahead. A lot of times we feel there is not enough time in the day to do all we need to do. So we shorten our sleep time and we almost cancel out relaxing time just so we can accomplish what we set out to do. Now I am not saying setting goals and planning is bad. I am just saying: be reasonable and fair to yourself. Everything does not ‘HAVE’ to be done now. Prioritize. Do what’s necessary. And be honest to yourself about what IS necessary. Know the difference between a NEED and a WANT. It is easy to get caught up in our day to day life. We all live different lives, we have different jobs, we have different responsibilities and obligations. I never said it would be easy. Yes, sometimes life seems to be working against us and we feel like we are not getting that BREAK. I know all about that. In a way, I am lucky to have experienced more than one lifestyle in different countries so I can have a better understanding. I lived the busy, go, go, life. I had times when nothing was going on and I was bored out of my mind. And I lived a life in which there is a bit of balance between the two. No situation is perfect, let me tell you. We complain if no one messages or calls or wants to see us. And we complain when every one we know seems to be calling, messaging and want to see us. We are never happy.
I think it becomes a habit to walk fast, eat fast, drive fast and do things quickly and look at our watch every five minutes because we are so used to it that it almost becomes the norm. So I say let’s be real. Let’s try to live more than just staying alive. Let’s stop and smell the roses when walking in the garden. Let’s savour the food we are eating by tasting it before chewing and swallowing. Let’s enjoy that glass of wine or beer or whatever you are drinking. Let’s talk to our loved ones more often instead of sending messages. Let’s spend time enjoying nature, talk a walk at the park, go for a swim, gaze at the stars, take a drive at night; you get my point.
A special note to Parents: spend quality time with your children, I mean really spend time with them even if it’s playing with their favorite toy, watching the cartoons they like, talk to them, show them love by action as much as in words. Don’t just depend on your nanny or baby sitter to raise your child for you. They need you as their role model, they will be copying you in everything you do. You may think they are too little to understand, but they do, and they are watching you like a hawk. Pay attention to their talents and guide them to tap into it. They may have a gift that will direct them in a wonderful path and it is in your hands to allow them to live it. Children don’t need you working day and night to make enough money for their college fund and grow up without seeing you around. Children will one day grow up, start to be independent and you will not find them in your house having dinner with you even on Sunday night. They need you now, they need you around, they need a hug, a kiss, a high five, a word of encouragement when they do something right as small and simple as it may be. Be there at their football practice, attend their school play, never miss a graduation ceremony even when it’s kindergarten. All these things make a difference in how your child grows up, it affects their self confidence and self-esteem. You have no idea how the little things you do affect the rest of your children’s lives. So stop and think when you wake up in the morning, what can you do differently, how can you slow down the rushing a bit, how can you manage to complete the chores and go to work and pay the bills, but also live your life and give time to your family. That goes for married people and single people too.
We all depend on technology so much, that family visits on weekends have almost disappeared. Now, even phone calls are becoming rare. The internet may have got us connected at all times with various methods, but it also separated us from each other. A text message, a Facebook message, a what’s app message, or whatever application you use, will never be able to replace a hug, a kiss, a smile or a touch from your loved ones. Making dinner at grandmas house, the family is watching TV, the kids are playing games and making noise, sitting down at the dinner table, complimenting the ‘Chef’, sharing a delicious home-cooked meal, sharing laughter, making memories to last a lifetime. All that, can never be replaced by a message. So let’s go back to our old-habits or start them if you never had it. Set out a day in the week or weekend and let the family gather around and bond. Let the kids know what family really means. These little things have been lost over the years, as technology grew, so did the distance between the family.
Moreover, we are so consumed with our technology to the point of being life threatening. We cross the street with the phone in our hands, we text while we drive, we forget the food on the stove, we are in constant distraction. We don’t pay attention to what we are doing, we are always doing at least two things at the same time. That’s a great thing we are capable of multitasking; great job, but shouldn’t some things be done one thing at a time. We have become more careless, more rude, more cocky, and less focused, less appreciative, manner less. What happened to our manners I wonder. Where is the “please” I would like to have … and “thank you” and “excuse me” and “sorry”. Why are we always on edge, we are constantly ready to attack with our words and body language. We don’t tolerate each other when we make simple mistakes. We are quick to make assumptions about each other. We judge too harshly. We decide to hastily. We don’t take the time to take a deep breath and see things clearly. We don’t look at the big picture, we are so tunnel-visioned. We are so quick to be negative and believe things will not work out before giving yourself the chance to think of solutions and other options. We are rushing in everything in our lives, even in the breath we take and in the way we think. We are so overwhelmed with our lives and our surroundings, that we feel like we are going to suffocate. No wonder we get sick more often and we die younger. It’s the stress we allow to control us. No denying life has changed along the centuries. Some great discoveries and accomplishments. But also some deteriorating in ourselves. An imminent change is needed at this point in our society to save ourselves from further deterioration.
We need to gain control back over our minds and emotions before we can regain control over our physical lives. It’s in our hands I believe. If we just stop and think for a while. Each one of us can make the decision to slow down a bit in everything and it will all spiral. Start by taking a deep breath, tell yourself it will all be ok and believe it within your heart. The rest will follow. I hope we start to change, one person at a time, and maybe, the world will also change, one country at a time. But it always begins with just one … Just ONE! So the next you find yourself rushing, stop and ask yourself: what’s the rush??