Saturday, 11 February 2012

No time to stand and stare

I told a friend that I had started writing blogs and she said that I must have more time than she had. It started me thinking that we have dangled before us at every turn the idea that to lead a fulfilled life we have to pack in as much as we can into it. This is a topic I often think about as I review how I am living my life and if I want to live it differently.

I think we are under pressure to lead a "life in the fast lane" and "live life to the full". We complain to each other that there are "not enough hours in the day". If you search these terms there is a big body of writing out there especially from the self improvement market. Then you find this sort of thing posted on Facebook:

A busy life is a lived life

But what does it mean? For me the idea that I must be constantly stuffing myself with new experiences and never wasting a moment is worrying as though I like to see new places and do different things I get the most out of savouring small pleasures. I was very pleased to come across the antithesis to this rush rush mentality with a website called SLOW DOWN. 

Think about all the things that give small pleasure and they add up to more than the white water rafting or the bungee jumping  [extreme examples that spring to mind working as I do in a young team of adrenalin driven people!] or the rushing to this or that experience. On the way you might let these "not doing" experiences sweep past unnoticed:

watching the clouds go by

  • choosing a new book to read
  • getting into a warm bed on a cold night
  • watching the sun set
  • a good shower
  • smelling new cut grass, just baked bread
  • watching the sea
  • watching clouds pass by
  • feeling the sun in winter
  • sharing banter and humour
  • feeling a texture that makes you glow
  • musical notes in just the right order ..the list is endless. 
So with all that going on how can we be the person in Ezra Pound's poem:

          The days are not full enough
         The nights are not full enough
         Life slips by like a field mouse
         Not shaking the grass

I am with William Henry Davies myself who famously wrote:

       What is this life if full of care
       We have no time to stand and stare?

That is what I am aiming for and I will NOT feel guilty about it....!


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you ... At last, someone else who admits enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer, without constantly worrying about what experiences we're meant to have.

    I'm sure I used some similar examples of what I don't need to do [bungee jumping] in one of my blog posts last year :-)

  2. Dear Susan,
    I so agree with what you've posted today. It reminds me of the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Slow down."
    I'm not sure that is the name of the song, but those are the first words.

    We get so busy that life passes in a blur and we miss the special moments, some of which you have listed. I so love getting into my bed on these winter nights and pulling the quilt up around my neck. Toasty.


  3. I love the poster about skidding in sideways... but I don't want to achieve that by bungee jumping or doing anything crazy. Since I gave up the day job (teaching) I do take the time to watch clouds, birds and a good sunset. I also find the time to blog, tweet and submit manuscripts to publishers so maybe I will be one of the worn out skidders after all. I do hope so.

  4. Nice post. The main thing to me is to be relatively happy with my life as it is and feel like I'm doing something worth doing. We give our time where we have the time availble--time is a constant.

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