Tonight I was reminded that I go too fast. No, not while running. At least not while running in marathons. But in pretty much everything else I do, while running the race called life. I came to this realization tonight as I was reading bedtime stories to my son. I usually blow through the pages without more than a glance at the pictures, hurrying to get through the book so I can tuck him in, finish my jobs for the day, decompress for a bit and get to bed (and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow).
Tonight as I read, an inner voice whispered, “You’re going too fast,” and encouraged me to slow down. I began to study each illustration. I read the book like I actually cared about it’s message. Not only were those moments more meaningful, fulfilling and worthwhile for me, little John had much more fun too.
It got me thinking, “What else am I doing too fast?” I wondered what other meaningful moments I was missing out on because I was rushing through them and trying to get to the next “thing” or just to get through the day. In the storybook called life, what beautiful illustrations have I been ignoring in the world around me? As I pondered that question I realized, the answer is A LOT.
I rush the kids from bed to breakfast to “get dressed” and “brush your hair and teeth”, impatiently shouting orders, often not taking the time to honor their requests to cuddle in bed with them out of fear we’ll be late for swim practice or camp or school. I’m rushing between the dishes and the laundry and the housework and the yard work, hoping the kids will occupy themselves long enough for me to check some stuff of my to-do list. I distract them with TV and movies more than I should so that I can get in my workout or my writing or my “me time”. (Which I do deserve, I know.) Today I was so busy running around making everything “perfect” for my daughter’s birthday that I didn’t make time to actually enjoy the birthday girl herself. Everywhere I go and everything I do, is “on the run.”
The point is that I’m ALWAYS trying to do TOO MUCH, TOO FAST. As a result I miss out on some of the good stuff. If I could slow myself down a little some of the time, the way I did reading that book tonight, I’m pretty confident there are even more meaningful, fulfilling and worthwhile moments I’d enjoy. Am I saying “enjoy every moment”? No, I’m saying I need to slow down a little so I can better enjoy THIS moment here and THAT one over there. In the storybook called life, I’m going to challenge myself to read much more slowly from now on, so I can take in all the pretty pictures being painted right before my very own eyes. In the race of life, there are many moments that are not meant to be run; when crossing the finish line first isn’t best. Like I’ve said before, “Sometimes faster isn’t always better.”