Friday, November 02, 2007

...for all the Write reasons

Hey, you guys!

Remember how, as kids, we'd wrinkle our noses and frown when our parents and grandparents said "My, how time flies!" Time, back then, seemed limitless. The days went on and on, no matter the weather...which is how it should be for children today, and for ourselves, too.

I cited the old 'time flies' adage yesterday. Twice! No surprise, really. Life demands that its residents cram 3 days into one. Or try to, at least.

When I get into 'rush mode', I'm reminded of the chipmunks' frenzied scramble to gather enough nuts to see them through the winter. You'd think once spring arrived, they'd slow down a tad, enjoy the fresh new scents and sights that go hand-in-hand with the season.

But they don't.

I can't help but wonder how joyless their little lives must be, with their attentions so acutely focused on staying one step ahead of Mother Nature. It's as if they believe they'll starve to death if they stopped racing, just long enough to absorb the beauty, budding all around them.

How different are we from the adorable rodent-cousins, as we rush hither and yon, driving children to and from school, athletic events, practice, lessons, church activities. We hurry to get the laundry done. Do the grocery shopping. Deposit that check. Put meals on the table (and eat 'on the fly'). Race to 9-5 jobs. Rush through our exercise programs.

The list goes on and on, and it's a rare day when we manage to check every item off our to-do lists. But what price are we paying for our 'get it done, quickly' lifestyles? Are we, like the chipmunks, missing the glory and wonder of our own little corners of the world?

A dear friend passed away very recently. Like the chipmunks, she spent her days (and far too many nights) in a flurry of activity, trying to turn 24 hours into 48. She managed to earn a Masters degree while working full time, performiing volunteer activities for a dozen organizations and charities, while keeping her house in pristine condition and her person the model of perfection. Do you know what this she said on the morning she died? "I should've taken more time to smell the flowers." She didn't say had more time, she wished she'd taken more time. She regretted that, in her drive to get things done, she'd missed important moments in her daughters' lives, in her husband's life, in her marriage.

Time is our most precious commodity; once it's gone, it's just gone, and we can never, ever get it back. Is it important to do the 'things' that keep us healthy and clean, organized, on time? Yep. No doubt about it. But skipping one step, omitting one chore--once in a while, anyway--won't banish us to the Dirty-Tardy time-out chair!

So let's make it a point to slow down today. Just a little. Do something out of the ordinary: Leave one errand un-run, omit one task. Our little corner won't disappear into The Black Hole of Space if we take a brief flight of fancy.

Grab a book, any book, then make yourself a soothing cup of your favorite tea, and savor the words as you sip its comforting brew.

It's my hope that when you step away from your R&R Station, you'll feel refreshed and renewed, energized in a way that enables you to see your loved ones in a new and different light, so that when you say "My, how time flies!", it will be a happy declaration, uttered in joy...not exasperation.

And the added plus: The invigorated new you can import these amazing and wonderful insights into your manuscripts!

Be good to yourselves. You've earned it.

All my best,