Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rushing Is Not a Virtue

Somewhere in my crazy life, I imbibed this strange lie, that if I just rush through my work, my lunch break, my time cooking, my time cleaning, my exercise, my time relaxing, my time with friends and animals, my time with my spouse, my time contemplating (yes I see the irony in rushing through contemplation), that I will get to some zenith of rest and perfection that I've been waiting to arrive at since birth.

That will not happen.

"The ripeness of the apple is it's downfall." 
-Mary Oliver

I've spent the better part of twenty-six years perfecting being fast at whatever I do. A person I follow on facebook posted a picture of a beautiful pie she made and I thought, "I don't have the patience to design something like that." Because beautiful pies take patience, attentiveness, and presence in the moment, and I'm too busy floating away from the moment so I can get to the next one so I can reach that imaginary zenith. 

Rushing is not a virtue. 

There are myriad ways in which this has impacted me negatively but the chief way is this: I no longer nourish myself. I can't remember the last time I just went on a walk just to enjoy it. Or sitting on my back porch and watching the sunset. Or taking the time to cook a meal, slowly and methodically, in a way that is full of love for the art of cooking and the people I'm preparing it for. I am now extremely burned out and frazzled in body and mind. I have no peace.

Sometimes you do have to rush. My job hinges on being fast and efficient at my work. But the rest of my life doesn't have to. And somehow, I've missed this.

So for 2014, I've picked a theme for myself, to hold as my resolution: nourishment.

The etymology of that word is interesting. In Old French norriss meant to "raise, bring up, nurture, foster, maintain and provide for."

I want to provide for myself. So 2014's resolutions do include some practical goals, measurable goals that I mentioned in an earlier post, but it also includes remembering the spiritual discipline to stay in the present moment.

My profile photo is a portrait of an amethyst necklace I own. I purchased it from a store that also promoted the healing properties of crystals. I don't know much about that topic (my first reaction is to consider it hokum), but while I was at the store I read about how amethysts symbolize the virtue of being still. I bought it because I need a tangible symbol to do just that.

Here's to savoring 2014.

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