Last week my 88-year-old Grandma and I were driving down to the beach and surrounded by the beautiful fall colours along the way. Apparently I was driving a bit too fast (imagine!) because she told me to slow down, it’s not just about the end destination but the path you take to get there.
So we drove the long way to the beach. The sun was shining and the fall colours were brilliant. It was lovely. Yet, I had to be reminded to slow down by my precious grandmother.
When I first arrived in Casablanca, Morocco I spent the day sitting in cafes and chatting with locals. I was able to speak in French and learn about this amazing country and culture and people watch. The next day I had a coffee and croissant on a terrace and watched in amazement as the locals gathered for a morning coffee prior to heading to the office.
I think I can only dream of my mornings unfolding like this. Instead, I’m usually seen running, in heels, after a bus, coffee in hand, usually spilling on me, as I grab a daily newspaper and my iPod blasts. Not exactly relaxing or meet-your-co-workers-at-a-cafe-before-getting-down-to-business.
When we’d arrive at someone’s house, we were greeted with a pot of mint tea and the expectation was that you sat and had a chat. It took me awhile to get used to this pace, but once I did, I really got accustomed to it.
Often I feel like life is just so busy and we don’t have time to enjoy the small things around us. Basically, life. Every month I feel like I say, “can you believe it’s mid-month/end of the month already?” And my response to the simple question, how are you? “Busy!” with a genuine sigh of exhaustion.
Now I’m realize I’m a bit of a go-getter. Someone who likes challenges. Prefers to be busy rather than bored. A gal who takes on more than she should. But I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. In fact, most of my friends have the same attitude. Life in general just seems to be more busy. Not just for me, but for everyone. Children are enrolled in all kinds of after-school programs. Parents spend hours driving their children around and doing homework, all while keeping a home. Grandparents are taking on more responsibility for their grandchildren while caring for aging parents, the sandwich generation. Young professionals are engaged in their careers and communities.
Yet we have conveniences like one-stop supermarkets, drive-thrus and delivery services to help us through our busy lives. Luxuries only imaginable to Grandma when she was my age. But it’s just not enough.
So what’s the solution? I don’t know, but I’m open to suggestions.