Some of us scurry our way through life, busy every moment, seemingly in high gear all the time. Others are plodders, going through life at their own pace, taking the time for thoughtful consideration in everything they do, and everything around them.
Two points to those of you who guess which category I land in. Hint: I’m riding in a car on a road trip and rather than gaze out the window, I have read two magazines, returned phone calls and am now having quality time with my laptop.
There are some misconceptions about those of us who tend to move quickly through our days. Plodders sadly shake their heads at us, concerned that we are missing too much, that we aren’t stopping to smell the roses. On the contrary… pausing long enough to take notice of certain things throughout our days is like a quick moment of fascination. While we are buzzing around, we are absorbing, observing, wondering and appreciating.
Some things we see are simple and beautiful. Others give us pause long enough to make us go “huh” and cause us to try to reason them out.
Here’s a smattering of the random things I have taken notice of this week:
- I can no longer park my car straight. I don’t know why. I’ve had the same car for four years. I used to find it easy to dock her evenly. Yet lately, even with basic pull-in parking spaces, I notoriously have to back up and straighten out, or I think I’m fine but step out of the car to see I’m firmly on, or over, a line. Funny thing, my husband seems to have the same issue lately. Maybe it is the car. She’s a rebel, wanting to live outside the lines.
- Mirrors lie, cameras are harsh. How is it that we can get dressed, look at ourselves in the mirror, and say “yes, this works, lookin’ good, on with my day.” Then someone snaps a photo, plops it on Facebook and you see yourself and think “good Lord, what was I thinking? This top makes me look as big as a house!” Is the mirror trying to fool us and lull us into a confident yet false sense of security? Or does Facebook add ten pounds? Darn that Mark Zuckerberg.
- Happiness spreads. There is a gentleman who acts as a greeter at my local Costco. No matter what day or time I go, this man is there, casually checking for membership cards, and saying hello. He is in his senior years, and I’ve noticed that he now greets from a wheel chair. A couple of days ago I ran in there to get some items for a work event, and sure enough, there he is. And he was singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” With a surprisingly strong and pleasant voice. Naturally, he made me smile. Even if he’d had a horrendous voice, I would have smiled. It doesn’t matter what you do for a job, or how you spend your day. Spread happy. It works.
- Pets are magical. Sure, we all know our dogs and cats give us unconditional love, and long after the others in the family have stopped running to greet us at the door when we come home, our pets are there for us. Wagging tail, or rubbing and purring, or smiling and panting. But pets are also the great equalizer. No matter who you are talking to, what kind of mood or attitude someone may have, or if you are trying to get to know someone knew, the topic of a pet smooths everything out and perks up a conversation. Within minutes you are swapping stories and sharing photos. Magical.
- We are not so different from our feathered friends. Last weekend my son had a large group of friends over for a pool party. As my husband and I relaxed and watched their antics, at one point they all, en mass, exited the pool, all at the same time. It was apparently time to go play Frisbee football. The traveled as a group. I looked at my husband and said “they are like a flock of birds.” And now, during my little family road trip today, we stopped at a Service area to stretch. My son and I treated ourselves to Coolatas. You know, those drinks that contain about a week’s worth of sugar? As I got back in the car and took a sip, I said to my husband, “want to try some of my hummingbird nectar?”
And there I found my metaphor. We hurrying scurrying types are like hummingbirds. We zip, we dodge, we do, we seem busy-busy-busy. But we really are pausing along the way to sip our nectar, to appreciate the beauty of a flower, to be thankful for the little things in life, and to ponder the things we don’t understand. You just have to be quick to notice us doing it.