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“Stop the glorification of busy.”

Honestly, I can’t count the number of times someone has made a remark about how slow I walk, and for North American society, I can’t exactly say I’m surprised. But in some respects, I do get slightly annoyed. At times I sit and think about how quickly people are passing by, and my urge to mention that their fast pace is mildly unnecessary seems far too confrontational. Anyways, who am I to say how fast they walk?

I just can’t help but wonder how much of our lives are spent not enjoying life simply because we are always in a hurry. Whether it’s rushing off to work, late for an appointment or simply a necessity to get as much done in one day as we can, I think we all need to take a moment to slow down. For most of us, it’s been ingrained in our minds that there exists a necessity to keep busy, to “do something” regardless of whether or not there is time. Yet as we are “making a living”, we keep forgetting to pause and just appreciate the life around us.

I find that my slow walking – whether it’s to a local café, strolling through the park on my way home from school or just out for a meander – is my time to appreciate life. It is during these walks that I find mental clarity from work, and I am able to be receptive towards my surroundings. It is during these walks where I feel my willingness to scan what’s happening around me allows for a different kind of happiness, where I feel like I am in fact living my life. It’s peaceful.

Many will argue that just because they walk fast doesn’t mean they can’t have this same sense of clarity in their minds. I guess that’s not really what I am drawing attention to. The point I am trying to get across is that in the moments we spend rushing through something, we aren’t getting the same level of appreciation.

So, the next time you are going out to do your “running around”, before you grab the keys to the car, stop yourself.  Go back and take an extra sip of coffee, pet your dog and maybe even offer to take someone with you for the ride. These little moments are the ones that will make you a life, that will let you breathe in this world that is fascinated with being busy. It’s okay to be a couple minutes late, after all; the time you were taking away from something else, you were putting into something that you must have placed importance on – that’s okay!

If anything, I hope this post encourages you to take one minute of your day to spend the time as you choose… slowly!

You can read more from Samantha Dickson on her blog.

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  1. First, I’d like to say that I wholeheartedly agree with what you have written here. Life is meant to be enjoyed. We spend so much time commenting on how fast time goes by (look, already another New Year!) but we often fail to realize that if we don’t slow down once in a while, time will continue to elude us. That being said, I am quite guilty of fast walking but not for the sake of time or a busy schedule. I, honestly, fast walk because I have a job that requires sitting for the majority of the day & I like to get in exercise anywhere I am able. It’s a bit like when people assume that if you’re not very talkative you’re probably not a very nice person when in actuality you may just have terrible social anxiety. Sometimes people do the things they do for reasons we wouldn’t assume just by observing them. I wouldn’t discourage walking at your own pace but I certainly condone not letting life pass you by. It’s important to enjoy everything we can with the time we are given :)

  2. I tend to walk fast naturally, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally slow down and take in my surroundings. I also think this article applies to cars. Living in California, people are constantly speeding, and blasting their horns at people who are driving slowly or who are lost. I personally hate the sound of car horns. Life goes by fast enough as it is–slow down.

  3. My husband always tells me that I’m slow!! I tell him I’m not slow.. I just have my own rythm and enjoy things..

  4. Totally agreed. With Samantha’s article and Lauren’s comment. Try leaving your phone and home at some point and go for a short walk. It’s liberating.

  5. I also think people need to put their phones/ipads/whatever’s down once in a while and just take in the scenery, maybe people-watch or talk to a nearby stranger. you never see anyone just sitting at a coffee shop any more.

    • YES! as someone who does NOT have a smart phone, i always feel kind of left out when my friends are all checking their email or facebook and i’m just twiddling my thumbs waiting for them to be done (or i take out my dumb phone and pretend to do something on it even though i have no missed calls or texts), but i’m not the one being left out. they’re shutting themselves out from life! those 20 seconds they were checking their phones? i spotted the couple at the bar who are clearly on their first date and it is AWKWARD and entertaining to watch.