Hurry Up And Wait

Hurry Up And Wait

This guy from the military used to joke that they were always being told to hurry up only to find that once they got to their destination, they had to sit around and wait–he called this “Hurry up and wait!”

It’s a paradox of our times that we are constantly in a hurry to get to work, have our meetings, get our work done, get home, and a million and one other things. PTA meeting or baseball practice anyone?

From fast food to information at the speed of light, it’s like we know we are up against the clock and no matter how fast we go it’s not fast enough.

Yet, it is exactly in rushing from thing to thing and to get things done that we really miss the point–to savor every moment.

I think the saying take time to smell the roses is very important. And someday if you don’t, you will look back and wonder where did all the time go and why was it so–fast and–miserable.

The Wall Street Journal (14 March 2013) has a book review today on “The Slow Fix” by Carl Honore.

Honore says we have a “cultural addiction to speed” and he advises that we take more time to enjoy life–our work, our relationships, our interests, and I would add our spirituality.

It’s funny but in the book review, it mentions how a Viennese priest admits that he even prays to fast. And I have to chuckle at that because I too remember from my childhood, so many synagogue services, where speed praying and prayer by rote took the joy and meaning away the true connection I wanted to be building with my maker.

Even in a work setting, often everything seems like a #1 priority and there is more to do than there are hours in the day or people to do it.

While working quickly and efficiently is desirable, when people are overworked and overwhelmed that is how costly mistakes happen and people get burned out.

In all aspects of our lives, we need to make good progress, but at the same time, ensure that our lives are filled with meaning that you can only get by paying attention to each and every wonderful moment. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jayme Frye)

That Special Cane

Cane_with_mirror_and_horn

After seeing one of my colleagues with this souped-up cane at work this week, I learned that this is the special gift for someone reaching their 50th birthday.

This is not an ordinary bamboo cane as you can see, but one with a rear-view mirror for passing, a honking horn for warning people out of your path, and even a little green change purse for the toll. 🙂

While I am no spring chicken anymore, I am still not old enough to receive my special cane–oh shucks!

But this did give me pause to think about what it means as we get older and the weeks and months at work turn into years and decades.

Before we know it, the up-hill climb of life, plateau and eventually heads in the other direction.

It reminds me of whenever someone asks my father how old he is…he flips the numbers–so for example, when he was 72, he would say I “turned” 27 and so on

It’s not easy getting old(er), we all want to be back in our youth or prime of life, which my father calls the time period, “when the world is too small,” and I think what he means is our aspirations are large.

This week at work, I learned that one of my colleagues who retired just a few years ago passed away from one of the horrible “C’s” — it was terrible to hear this.

Moreover, it reminded me of other colleagues who I have seen work hard their whole life, sacrificing and putting off all types of enjoyment, and waiting for that big day when they would retire and then they “could live the good life.”

And one guy, I remember, did retire after putting in his time and within about 3 months, he dropped dead of a massive coronary–I don’t think he even made it with heart beating to the hospital.

Life is too short!  And of course, life is hard–that’s how we are tested and grow–but we can’t wait for the good times. We need to savor every moment of our lives, appreciate our loved ones , and enjoy what we do day-in and day-out.

Else, we may miss the finest times that we have here on earth and then we really will be left holding that special cane and looking back at our lives in the rear-view mirror wondering why we wasted so much precious, precious time.

Try Something New, Relax

So you work hard and play hard.You’re always in “on mode”.

Of course, it’s a 24 x 7 world.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Well it’s time to stop!

Take a time out.

Some time to think.

Enjoy life again.

Become a human being.

Here is your test: Go to Do Nothing for 2 Minutes.

– Your only goal for the next 2 minutes is to look at the ocean, listen to the waves and the birds, and relax–really.

– If you touch the mouse or keyboard, you fail and have to start over again.

See if you can do it.

See if you can calm your mind.

See if you can get off the treadmill.

See if you can free yourself from anxiety and pain.

When you can just do this–for 2 minutes, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing.

Now try Calm–no time limit this go around–you’ve earned it.

You’ll are better for it and your family, friends, and colleagues notice the difference.

It’s not a new you, just a rediscovered you.

Find and enjoy peace!