My Lesson in Letting Life Slow Down

FlagHuman nature creates this demand on us at times, which is truly maddening. We get so caught up in our lives, and although we try to stay grounded, and remember what really matters, we still let ourselves get swept up in the chaotic society that swarms around us.

 

It can get quite stressful before leaving for a big trip. Earlier this May, I was preparing to compete in the Racewalk Pan American Cup in Arica, Chile. I found myself running around trying to do get everything done before I left. I had a running check-list in my mind, and as each task was accomplished I would erase it from the list and the next item would pop into my mind instantaneously.

 

Besides my regularly scheduled training sessions, running errands, and taking care of certain chores, I still had to work. I still had to meet with my students who were preparing to take their SAT in June.

 

Flustered with my own life, I went to meet with one my students the Saturday before I left for South America. This particular student had rescheduled last minute, twice throughout the course of the week, so I was happy to have our session finally be something that I could erase from my ever running mental tab.

 

StatueWhen I arrived at her home to begin our session, I asked her why she needed to keep rescheduling our meeting? She then with dejection in her voice informed me a friend from her school whom she had class with, was killed in a car accident in front of her school. I suddenly remembered reading about this, and I even remembered it being at her school, and yet in the several days leading up to our meeting it never occurred to me that this poor boy who passed away, was not only some one who attended her school, but also some one in her grade. It was some one who was now no longer going to be in class. For the rest of the school year his desk would be an empty one. For the rest of her life she would walk around with this memory. She would always be familiarized with this type of grief of losing a friend so young.

 

We easily forget how precious time can be. We take for granted the luxury of how much time we have already been given, and how we never really know how much time we have left. We rush through our days, not cherishing the fact that we go to see another one.

 

I did finish everything on my list that week, but after meeting with my student that Saturday, I didn’t feel as rushed. I let life slow down. There is no guarantee for tomorrow. There never is, but while we have it, should we spend it with the people we care about, doing what makes us happy, and acknowledging that there are so many people, who do not get to indulge simple luxuries anymore.

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