Speed of Light
There was a time when I relished the busy-ness of my life.
It wasn't a naturalbusy-ness...the kind that comes about organically.
Rather, it was a manufactured busy-ness...the kind that fills your calendar to bursting, unnecessarily.
There was a payoff, however,to the busy-ness I manufactured.
Itcreated a false sense of purpose...
in a way,
this busy buzzy busy-ness
So much so that it convincedme that I was living my life
It servedas the frenetic heartbeat to my day...
pushing me forward
I had innocently mistaken my busy-ness for importance and meaning.
Truth wins out though, doesn't it?
For me it came in the form of a wake-up call at a gas station.
It was just an ordinary day...
and as I pulled up to the gas pump, I mentally gauged the time delay this unexpected stop would incur on my carefully manicured schedule.
Grabbing my credit card but leaving the Harry Potter CD to play for my daughter in the back, I stepped up to the pump, ran my card through the reader, selected the grade of gas, lifted the nozzle and turned back toward the car...
the car was GONE.
It had seemingly disappeared
as if cast by a spell.
For a split second I stood there, mouth agape, and thought,
"I'm sure I brought the car...why else would I be at a gas station?"
Logic quickly and fortunately returned as I instinctively looked in the direction the car had been facing.
To my horror, I saw itand my daughter slowly but steadily rolling toward two parked cars and a busy intersection.
Let's just say that what happened next was a full-on Tiger Mother moment as I sprinted after the car like my feet were on fire!!
Desperately trying to catch up, I witnessed the car roll between the two aforementioned parked cars...scraping one of them in the process... and continue on its' merry way toward the intersection, undeterred.
As if by magic or divine intervention, I caught up just as the car crossed into the second lane. Yanking the driver's car door open, I jumped in - 'Dukes of Hazard' style.
Hitting the breaks and adjusting the wheel, I maneuvered the car neatly into its' rightful lane with nary a scratch nor tap to the car and driver in front of us - who was patiently and obliviously waiting for the traffic light to change.
Catching my breath I turned toward my daughter...whose eyes were as big as saucers.
With a calmness that belied her recently experienced unmanned and unplanned road trip, she said, "Mommy, I didn't like that."
"Me neither," I assured her. "Me neither."
That incident forced me to take a really hard look at my busy-ness.
At my pace.
At the need that was driving the busy-ness -- and find an alternative way to meet it.
I had, in effect, been living my life at the speed of light instead of the speed of life.
In my attempt at getting here, there and everywhere, I had inadvertently ended up nowhere...
for I wasn't truly present for much of it.
It was time to slow down and take stock.
Never had John Lennon's words been more prophetic:
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."
These days I find that I can still get caught up in the allure of busy-ness...it does seem to have a seductive siren call all its own.
But then I remember my little incident at the gas station...and what it could have cost me.
That's enough to bring me back home.
Oh...and if you're wondering if I ever returned to the scene of my "crime?"
The gas attendant explained that they had caught my little 'Benny Hill' impression on tape and had been playing it on loop for a hearty laugh.
Good thing we moved!!!
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