It is one thing that I have come to realize over all these years is that people's expectations on how fast things can be accomplished has greatly accelerated in the last decade. No, make that the last 20 years. The opportunities that are now available to kids today were only something that I could dream about when I was a child. Before then, my father and his father couldn't even dream about such fanciful things as they struggled to feed the family.
Today, people live in a technological society (modern western) that encourages the excesses of life. To get the best paying job that you can find so that you can buy that dream life that you wished for as a young adult. Or living the life that your parents dreamed that you would have.
I look at the pace of life and often consider what choices I make that pull me back into the fast lane. So fast in fact that I often have to use a parachute or speed brake to get myself grounded and thinking about what I need in life and not those things that I want.
I spend a great deal of time volunteering my time to give back to my community. Even these interactions show me the fast pace of life that those that are less fortunate have but can't make their most basic dreams come true. They are busy trying to work every angle or job to make ends meet.
I am often reminded about what I can do to slow down and look around. Now this is easier said than done. Slowing down isn't (by my nature) something that I can easily do. My career and brain chemistry cause me to be always going Mach 1, trying to avoid slowing down as it will only take me longer to get back up to speed.
My personal activities are geared to keep me going as fast as possible and I treat anything that will slow me down like the black plague.
However, every once in a while, I have one of those moments of clarity that gently remind me what it is like to live at a slower pace and really enjoy and appreciate life. Today I was privileged to take care of a sick child (just a cold) but it is on these days that I really slow down and pay attention. All of the questions, ensuring that they have something to drink, that I have the perfect animated movie for them to watch (there I go with technology when I should be reading them a book) and that they are snuggled in front of a wood stove with plenty of warm blankets. All of these things make me forget out the fast paced life that I lead and challenges that I have to overcome, new skills that I have to learn by tomorrow or the never-ending deadline at work.
I have to remind myself that I can't completely "unplug", move to Tibet and lead a life of solitude. But I can take steps to slow down and really appreciate the things that I have, the friends that I have made and the life that I have been blessed with. Sure, I can always make more changes and improvements but life, like a home renovation project, takes time and I am going to take the time and always be working on it.