Do you ever feel like you are running as fast as you can, but no matter how hard you strive you still aren’t making headway? Between the day job, writing, taking care of the home and family, not to mention a very needy (but adorable) Marmalade kitty there has been little time of late to even think. Projects get started and then dropped because something with a higher priority gets in the way. Before I know it I am gasping for breath and standing among the ruins of good intentions, missed opportunities and days that blur into one another. You know you have a problem when you can’t remember what you did a week ago, never mind yesterday.
I stepped outside to leave for work and noticed a few leaves starting to change color on my maple tree. It was enough to stop me in my tracks. Not only that, but there was a crispness to the morning that hinted more of the approaching autumn than of summer. There was that slight tug-of-war between seasons in the air. I was shocked. Where had the time gone? It was September already and I barely remembered there being a summer!
I could hear the white-water rapids of my usual day trying to drown out the moment of awareness and drag me ever onward. The mental list of things I needed to get done clamored for attention. Usually, I shrug and get in my car and drive to work, my mind firmly fixed on all that needs done. Not this day. I took a mental step away and took a deep breath. I recognized how much of life is passing me by and I am the perpetrator of this tragedy.
I didn’t rush to my car, but took the time to stroll and enjoy the brief journey. While driving to work I didn’t blast the radio or fret about deadlines and timelines. I actually paid attention to the passing scenery on a route I have taken countless times. There were other trees flirting with the colors of fall, some with only a leaf or two beginning to turn. They were small splashes of color in an otherwise green expanse. As the road twisted and turned I noticed the morning mist hovering over the wetlands and twining through the trees with ghostly fingers. The sun was a pale orb brightening the sky as the pale blue of morning bled into the darker hues of a cloudless day.
Instead of arriving at work already feeling the stress in my neck and shoulders I enjoyed the trek across the parking lot and the varied colors of cars against the dark asphalt. It was a wonder to get to my desk and realize I had enjoyed the time I spent getting to work.
I won’t lie and say my day was anything less than hectic, but I rode those white-water rapids with far more humor and patience than I usually do and didn’t arrive home with a stress headache. There is much to be said for stopping to smell the roses on occasion.