The year is half gone! How time flies. It’s time to do a mid year assessment.
It was a beautiful summer afternoon several years ago, and I had to be at my destination at an appointed time. For some reasons, I started out really late – about an hour, and that was unacceptable.
So I mustered all the courage any young buck of a man could, and transformed myself into an Indy 500 Formula 1 Race Car Driver. The only set back was my first generation Hyundai Excel GL could not go faster enough for me. To add insults to injury, there were some inconsiderate drivers, who ignoring the fact that I was running late were taking their merry time going at a snail’s pace.
I weaved my way skillfully, by-passing these slowpokes being tempted all the while to wave at them — one finger at a time. I was making good time. Like icing on a delectable chocolate cake, I approach a stretch of the highway that invited me to step on it. And did I step on it! I briefly took a peek at my speedometer and felt proud of the 105 MPH or thereabout that my Korean invention was making.
Blowing past a vehicle trying to catch up to me, I looked at my rearview mirror to gloat at their weakly powered vehicle and was horrified to see blue flashing lights. ‘This must be my imagination’, I thought. A second check confirmed my fear.
It was far away enough for me to slow down, and sandwich myself between some slow pokes. I easily inferred that a Police Cruiser in one’s rear view mirror was the safest driving device ever created. Immediately, I was transformed back to my normal well-mannered self, driving responsibly.
Admittedly, my evasion strategy did not work. Soon the Police Cruiser was right at my bumper, still with flashing lights, and this time I could hear the siren. The Officer stiffly warned me saying he was even authorized to impound my car for such an infraction. He slapped me – very hard — with the most expensive speeding fine ever in my entire life, a cool $525.00. That put the fear of God in me! And forever taught me a lesson about slowing down on the Highway and . . . you guessed it, in life.
Ours is a generation largely characterized by light speed. We want everything fast!
Everything seems to travel at breakneck speeds. We are conditioned to get what we want by the push of a button, the click of a mouse, and even by voice commands. Let’s not forget the ubiquitous drive-throughs – even some ‘churches’ are introducing these formats in their ‘worship services’.
It is easy to be caught is this dizzying speed of things. This viscous busyness of life often sets us on the highway of life going in excess of 105 Miles per Hour until we see the ‘flashing light’ of a ‘Police Cruiser’ in the rearview mirrors of our lives. These ‘Law Officers’ usually extract more than $525.00 out of us. The payment may come in various forms ranging from an unexpected illness, missed opportunities, failed relationships, reckless decisions or even a fresh reminder of our inevitable mortality. Sadly, most of us don’t pay attention until these painful events meet our acquaintance forcing us to slow down and smell the cappuccino.
It is amazing how the little things take on significant meaning and renewed value. A simple evening breeze, a stunning sun set, a leisurely stroll on the beach, the wondering gaze of that ancient crystal-like ball in the sky, the smell and look of different varieties of flowers and plant life, listening to the birds sing, the cock crow, even the cry of a baby or a simple moment of silence to think, are all reminders of this wonderful life’s journey only savored when we slow down.
So I’m not just focusing on the destination so much that I miss the adventure of the trip. Remarkably, it is the experience we get while on the journey that matters not necessarily just getting to the destination whenever or whatever that may be.
As I begin my mid year assessment I welcome any suggestions to slow down. What has worked for you? How do you slow down?
One thing I have decided on is an ‘Electronic-Free Time’ every day. Would you suggest some things for me to consider?