Today is Monday, October 8th, 2018. It was a cloudy day, just like the weekend. With the gray clouds, temperatures are turning much cooler, making it more than obvious that Fall is here.
Leaves, however, seem to be oblivious to the subtle changes. They’ve shown very little interest in changing their green ensemble to the the earthy tones that makes this season so picturesque.
Here, in southern Pennsylvania, it is quite an enjoyable spectacle of colors when Nature displays its array of orange, yellows and reds on the foliage, thus making it the favorite time of the year for many of its residents. But trees, in their wisdom, know very well there’s no rush for such change… yet.
But if you go to the stores, you can expect to question if it’s still October or December is already here. From the moment the electronic doors welcome buyers to its sales heaven, one can spot Autumn decor everywhere. According to the sales wizards, plastic pumpkins make a great buy, for they can be used either for Halloween as much as for Thanksgiving. Next to them, in their shiny colors, Christmas ornaments and New Year’s novelties.
What’s the rush? In order to increase their sales, it seems that stores are thrusting us to hurry into the future and forget about living our present. What’s wrong with living our days in calm and conscious about the blessing it is to live one day at a time? Or is it that we have taken into the practice of overflowing our personal calendar (and lives) with multiple commitments and responsibilities, that we feel necessary to be occupied and preoccupied instead of making the most of today in peace?
Living a serene life has become a lifestyle in danger of extinction. Everything around us is happening too quickly, and it seems almost normal to get infected with the speed with which the world goes. More and more, we are running out of patience, to the point of preferring to have a short version of a conversation, reduced to simply give “the headlines” of it, and if possible, make it fit in a tweet or a text message… better yet, summarize what we need to say with an emoji. It seems like there’s always something more important to do, or that we are obsessed with having our minds anywhere else but here, and now. It seems to me like yet another addiction to be added to the long list of destructive behaviors of us, humans.
What a pity to live life with such rush! And don’t think that it’s easy for me to sit here and point fingers, since for many years I lived life just like that: hurried. Until one day, after stumbling with a lot of life experiences, I opened my eyes to realize that I was missing on a lot of the good stuff, which by the way was the most valuable of life itself. I lived my days with my head in the future… and I don’t mean to forget about tomorrow. It’s simply a realization that tomorrow does not fit and can not be lived today.
Living a rushed life can only produce stress and anxiety. Anxiety brings illnesses. Illnesses produce pain. And pain opens the door to unhappiness. So if we are unhappy with such rushed life, why are we running headless behind it?
Put on the brakes. Stop. Breathe. Lift your head up. Open your eyes and observe. Look intently. You’ll discover little details that are often missed because of the speed with which we go by in life. Blessings only appreciated by those who take life’s journey in a calmed way, who make time to reflect on their surroundings and grant life’s little things the value they should truly have.
It’s not an easy exercise, I know it very well. Just give it a try, for real, and do it at least once a day. You’ll start to see and understand life much differently, guaranteed. And this is not a fancy excuse to put off plans or setting goals, but to slow down and smell the roses.
Living in a rush will never give us the satisfactions of living a serene life. For when we slow down, we are able to be in tune with our surroundings, with our loved ones, to have a renewed perspective of our circumstances and realities, and most of all, with God, the One who created you and gave you life, so you can live it, enjoy it and cherish to its fullest.