Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hurry hurry, slow down, hurry hurry!

That has to be the slogan/mantra/life philosophy of this country: speed up to slow down to speed up. The one thing I learned to appreciate in the Philippines was the pace of life, how despite the enormous burdens and incredibly taxing physical work and living conditions that most people there live with, they don't do anything at a very fast pace and thus experience some happiness and still seem to have a good time despite it all. Like my auntie, who has twelve children and five grand-children, worked hard all her life and has the leathered skin and tough hands to prove it, but still manages to be one of the sweetest, most serene people I know.

Things have been crazy for me and H. lately: car troubles; a not-serious (at least for us) accident we were 'involved' in the other night (I say 'involved' because I don't think we were at fault and we didn't even hit anything); I just got done helping to coordinate this event for a group I'm on the board of; work has given me a crapload of deadlines (including an unanticipated one this week that I'm miraculously going to be able to meet). Now that most of the craziness is dying down, I find myself moving into the 'slow down' mode of our national 'culture', if you can call it that. Really, I think it's a national sickness.

I want to learn how to be serene and calm and grounded despite all the madness that life throws at me. I'm tired of hurrying up to slow down, despite my addiction to activity and work and deadlines. I need to sit still. Of course, my meditation cushions have been steadily gathering dust in my closet for many months now, and there's a people of color sit I've been wanting to get to in Oakland, just a few blocks from my job! So there's something strong pulling me to resist the urge to sit, just sit, and be still. I need to move through that resistance and just do it. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

ludovic said...

I find myself in the same place. Hurry up to hire 8 field staff and 1 coordinator, wait for process to be established to actually pay them. Hurry to plan travel, wait for strategic discussions about them. Kicked my ass all week to get stuff up and running, and now I'm lounging at a restaurant on Lake Union in Seattle pondering a dinner meeting with my boss.

The up times are often exhilirating, the down times are, for me, centering. Wouldn't wanna have only one, although when I do its far more likely to be weeks and weeks and, ok, months of running.

I do remember when I took a 3 1/2 month sabatical after some family tragedies. For the first time ever I had no work to do. I had lots of personal stuff to do, but for the first time as an adult much of my day was about taking care of my family and myself. I'll never forget how that unique imbalance felt.

Anyway, stay centered, and let's get together for fun someday, eh?