To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slow Down, Feel Groovy!

Slow down, you move too fast
You gotta make the morning last
Just kickin' down the cobblestones
Lookin' for fun and
Feelin' groovy

Why are we always in such a hurry? Driving around I notice nobody actually stops at red lights or stop signs if they don't have to and drivers just look mad. Yesterday I was following my mom back to work and saw a car not even hesitate at a red light - nearly creating a 4 car accident (with my mom and I being 2 of those cars). This wasn't an isolated incident. How many times do you notice people creating dangerous situations just to save a couple of seconds? Is it really worth it though? I mean had an accident occurred in that major intersection quite a few people would have been inconvenienced and delayed, not to mention the financial aspect of a 4 car accident. All the time though, hurry hurry hurry is all we seem to do these days.

We only live once (let's set aside reincarnation for now). I don't want to spend my life always in a hurry feeling rushed, trying to get one car length ahead on the freeway, trying to be in the Super Wal-Mart before anyone else to get a $1.99 movie on Black Friday that I'll never watch. I just want to take my time and enjoy life as it happens. Maybe I'd want the sucky stuff to hurry -- I mean do we REALLY want to just chill and enjoy a pap smear?? But in general I think we, as a collective whole, should just chill the heck out!

When I was 19 years old my grandparents and I went to Las Vegas together. I was already in love with the city and my grandma really wanted to visit at least once more while she could. I think she and I kind of ganged up on Grandpa, and come on, I'm the favorite and named after him, he can't say no! ;) So there we were, having a really yummy lunch at the Rainforest Cafe (before it got new owners and a terrible menu change - back then you'd get a huge pineapple wedge with your food. So yummy!!) and in my sights was the entrance to Studio 54. Longingly I stared at it and said how I couldn't wait to go in there someday and dance. I will never forget what my grandpa said to me.... "Ronnie Rae, don't you wish your life away." He's right! Studio 54 is STILL there (although during race weekend it was Saloon 54 due to all that rodeo nonsense). I HAVE been inside and I didn't die waiting for it to happen.

Because of that one little conversation I always try to just stop and smell the roses, as they say. Sure, I get excited and plan for upcoming trips and races and look forward to days when I get to see friends that live far away ... but along the way I take time every single day to enjoy the little things and my current life. I enjoy the planning. Just this Sunday Abby and I texted forever about our 5K outfits and figuring out what colors to wear and how to accessorize. Those tiny steps are so much fun for me and help build anticipation! Even when Lady goes outside to go potty I watch her, I smile and think of how lucky I am to have my furry companions and I always take inventory of my trees. I have two trees in the front yard that really change dramatically with the seasons. They stayed so green and leafy for an extra amount of time this year, and I always love to stop and admire it. Small, but one simple beauty in life. Does anyone pay attention to things like that when they are busy driving too fast with their faces buried in their iPhones? I don't think so.

So as I continue on with my one life, 14 years after that conversation with my wise grandpa, I am proud to say that I DO choose to spend time relaxed and feeling groovy. As Ferris Bueller says, Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

As we head into a new year with fresh beginnings, slow down! Enjoy your life and all of its bumps. They make us who we are. And do something for yourself! Be like Michael Jackson, start with the Man in the Mirror and make a change. Bad relationship? End it! Hate your job? Quit! Too many bills? Stop spending! Felling chubby (heck yes!)? Eat better and start moving! Kids driving you nuts? Kick 'em out - get a dog instead. Okay - fine, maybe some of that was extreme, but you get the idea. Periodically I go through and filter out the bad and things that bug me. After I do, it feels GREAT!! Do something positive for yourself -- it is, after all, YOUR life!

Thank you, and now I need to hurry and get busy with what I was doing. Ha, no, not really. Kidding!
BUT .... for the runners out there, you can stop and smell the roses AFTER you cross the finish line. Really - at the Portland Marathon you get a rose at the finish line. I still have mine!


  1. Wise wise words ...
    I'm glad we take time to look and marvel at how the trees change with the season. This morning, while driving, I just enjoyed the fog. It was such a pretty sight.

  2. Your grandpa is a smart guy! I could take a lesson from him.

  3. I

    Great post. I love to slow down! When I think of it or when I run in Vegas! ;)

    Love. Love. Love those dimples!!

  4. Right on! Too much attention is spent on what's next instead of the right now. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Excellent advice!! And advice I really need to listen too.


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