In my 20’s and 30’s, I was always rushing. I think I was moving forward; however, I did not know the direction I was going. It felt like being on a treadmill where my feet are moving but I am standing in the same place I was in. It reminds me about a section of a fairy tale, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, where Alice happens upon the Cheshire Cat and the conversation goes like this:
Cheshire Cat: What’s wrong?
Alice: I think I am lost
Cheshire Cat: Which way are you going?
Alice: I am not sure!
Cheshire Cat: Then I guess it doesn’t matter which direction you go!
I guess I was Alice back then…now, I guess I am the Cheshire Cat.
Today, I am still busy but I now have two active ingredients that were not there when I was younger and they are reflection and the bigger perspective of CARPE – Curiosity, Appreciation, Reflection, Perspective and Experience. I still remember being in my 20’s and 30’s and I would commute on the SeaBus. For those not familiar with the SeaBus, it is a passenger ferry that would carry people from one side of North Vancouver to downtown Vancouver. I recall being near the front of the SeaBus and being placed strategically by the door so that when it opened, I was on a race to be the top if not top 3 to hit the outside doors (probably about a 50m distance. I would wait like a racer for the doors to open and then I would bolt. I would walk very fast and pass people to be at the first to the outside doors. It was a little race I would have with myself. If someone ran past me to the doors in the distance, sorry you were disqualified!
Today, I am still on the SeaBus but now I am near the back and I am no longer in a rush to be out the door. As I approach the SeaBus terminal and the SeaBus is almost there or is already there, I step aside to let all the people rushing get by, and then I take the next one which is 15 minutes away. I build this factor into my day. On the SeaBus, I sit by the window and enjoy watching all the ships in the harbour. I also look around the SeaBus at the commuters. Who are they? Where are they going? Are they happy/sad? What is on their mind? I am not slower or lazier these days. So what has changed? I have because I am more reflective and taking the time to appreciate what is around me. You would be amazed at what you observe and experience while just sitting and being present. What was I rushing towards? That is what I was thinking about as I wrote this.
Why am I no longer rushing? I want to see, I want to experience, I want to be present!
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