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Monday, December 12, 2016

Season of Speed

Holy Sprint, Batman!

It's those little daily incidents of life that are dramatic, and if you put a frame around it, suddenly they become bigger and more important than you ever imagined.”
Tracy Chevalier

Do you ever race though whatever you have to do in order to get to the next thing? Some days are like that, especially this time of year. Everyone is flying around like mad ants trying to cover all the holiday “necessities.” We become impatient when anything holds us up. Case in point, the line at the Post Office—standing for close to an hour with twelve other people, while one poor clerk tries to move as fast as she can, but the computer is not cooperating, and the customer she's serving wants 200 Christmas stamps of a variety the clerk does not have. Another person in line has brought two young children and a baby in a car seat. The two young ones are quickly bored and begin to whine. Then, they pull out all the postal forms from the kiosk, mix them up and put them back in the wrong slots. The baby frets, so it's mother rocks the carrier with her red cowboy boot. Every one else on line grinds their teeth and foot-taps with growing aggravation. It's a tough time to be in a rush, but it's a great time to observe human nature.

We become frustrated, not because of the stoppage in line, not because children are making a mess, but because we have attached so much importance to sprinting through our “to-do” list. And, because we have declared too many things “necessities.” Were we to cut that in half, or better still, a third, we'd feel less stressed, and more appreciative of the importance of each moment. I am as guilty as anyone to declare some activities more important than others. On Saturday, for instance, I felt I had to make soup for a friend who's recovering from surgery, get all the eBay shipping done, since this month is the busiest of the year, and list at least five or six items for sale to keep our inventory up. Somewhere in there, the dog needed to be walked, and I had to hit the grocery store to buy ingredients for the soup. Oh, and I wanted to bake some yeast rolls—the ones that have to rise for half a day. That was the very same day I was stuck on line at the Post Office for an hour. The Gods do have a sick sense of humor, don't they?

Let's slow down. Let's cut those to-do lists down to size. Let's put a frame around the everyday, and the insignificant, and watch the magic they create. It will help put a little joy back in the season.

                                                      In the Spirit,


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