“What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.”
– William Henry Davies.
Life is fast-paced these days, isn’t it? There’s always something else to be done, that to-do list is growing faster than you can cull it, the in-tray is overflowing. There’s always something else to be done, and so we crack of as fast as we possibly can to get through as much as we can and so we race through life, rushing from task to task, getting things done as quickly as we can and never stopping before we rush headlong into the next task and the next task, because if we don’t then we’ll never get everything done.
It’s exhausting just reading that, let alone going through life constantly rushing!
I know I certainly used to do that, barely even pausing for breath after completing one task before rushing to the next, because I had to make sure I got everything done.
Until I came to a very important realisation.
There will never, for any of us while we are alive, when everything we have to do has been done. There will always be something else to do next, no matter how hard we try no matter how fast we rush through things.
So the constant rush to get everything done is ultimately futile from that perspective, because there is always going to be something more to do.
But that doesn’t mean doing everything we do is futile, it’s simply that by the very nature of things there is always something to do, and that is, when you think about it, a good thing, for to reach the point in life where there is literally nothing left to do ever would destroy us as humans.
But there is another very important distinction to be made here.
All the time we are rushing around to do things, we miss out on life itself. And that is a huge shame for each and every one of us.
For what is the point in constantly rushing around, what is the point in living, if we chose not to spend any time just enjoying life itself?
Why do we spend all that time rushing about and not taking the time out to relax and appreciate things?
OK, I know what you are thinking. “But I take a holiday at least once a year, that counts, right?”.
And yes, it certainly does count. And you know how relaxing and refreshing that holiday is, you know how recharged you feel after it, right? But is that really enough to last you for the next 12 months. Almost certainly not.
However, what if you take just a little time out each day? I don’t mean sleeping, or reading a book, or watching TV.
No, I mean actually taking a few moments out to switch of from everything completely, and just stand and stare, gazing in peaceful wonder, at the world around us.
It might be having a cup of tea in the garden and just admiring the plants and watching the insects as they rush about.
It might be taking a stroll down the road, mind empty, looking at those familiar buildings we see every day and noticing something new about them we’d never seen before.
It might be just sitting at your window for 5 minutes just watching what people are doing as they go by.
Whatever it is, the important thing is just to switch yourself off from what you normally do, and just enjoy drinking in the minutiae of what is going on around you and really appreciating the unexpected beauty of life which is going on all around us.
Build a habit of doing this every day, even if it is just for a few minutes; the world won’t end because you take a few minutes out, but you will start to feel so much better for it. And don’t blame me when you start to find life taking on a whole new significance as a result!