Over the last week I’ve been racing around running here and running there – trying to get everything done, ASAP. I moved into a new house a week ago and it’s been petal to the metal to get it set-up and livable. In addition, my sweet little dog, Maggie Lou, had another injury, this time to her low back and hip. I took her to the vet last Tuesday to find out what was wrong and it turns out a degenerative issue in her back causing reduced disk space between each vertebrae.
By Wednesday, I was exhausted. After moving some furniture down to the basement, I decided I needed to carry Maggie down the stairs to avoid stress on her back while she heals. As I was walking down the stairs, I was explaining to my significant other, Brian, who was standing at the bottom of the stairs, how to hold her so that we could avoid stress to her spine. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I started to slip on the stairs. My feet started to go out from under me. I seemed to bounce down each step, slipping and falling, banging into stairs and walls. I kept ahold of Maggie, choosing to not break my fall so that I could protect her from further injury. By the time I reached the 3rd step from the bottom, I was flat on my bum. Maggie sprung from my arms and ran to the other side of the room. Brian could only utter, “Oh shit” as he couldn’t do anything to help me because the furniture we just moved blocked his reach. It all happened too fast.
I sat there with my head between my legs crying and moaning in pain. I had hit my head, my upper back, my bum, and my arms as I came crashing down. Brian felt terrible and was checking that I was okay. I let him know I was fine and not only was the whole situation ridiculous because in an effort to protect Maggie, I completely did the opposite to her and myself but I also peed my pants when I fell – nothing like a comedy of errors to lighten the mood.
However, this didn’t slow me down.
I noticed yesterday that I was rushing around. Everywhere I drove, people were too slow and in my way. I needed to get going and I seemed to have lots of obstacles in my way. I made a quick stop at a store on my way home and as I left, I backed out of my parking spot and started to go up and over a curb. “There’s a curb there?” That’s when I realized I needed to slow down. What was I rushing for? I didn’t have anywhere I had to be. I just was rushing to rush onto the next thing on my list.
I stopped myself and said, “Slow down. You’ve got time”. I realized I did have time. Yes, it feels like I need to get so much done right now but, truly, I have time. If I live as long as the maternal side of my family, I’ve got 47 years left to live. That’s more than I’ve been alive currently. That’s 24,703,200 minutes to live.
Most of us live with an illusion that there isn’t enough time. However, when we rush around, we often make mistakes or have accidents, as I witnessed this last week. It doesn’t serve us to rush because the mistakes and accidents themselves cause more delays and prevent the progress we were rushing to have.
We also miss out on the joy available to be experienced in every day activities. If we’re rushing, we aren’t present to the moment, we’re thinking about the next thing on the list. We miss the moment. Whenever I’ve done this, time goes by way too fast. When I’m present, time feels just right. There’s enough.
How can you slow down this week and enjoy each moment fully? Can you be present with each moment that life presents this week? Can you devote your full attention to one task at a time? Can you trust that you have enough time?