During the past few weeks, the speed of everything around me seems to be gradually increasing. Now they are whizzing by. But the apparent change in speed of my surroundings hasn’t occurred. Rather, I’ve been slowing down.
For so long, I’ve been wrapped up in getting things done, my “to do” list became scripture to me. “Oh, crap. I need to get batteries. Siri, where’s the closest convenient store?” I arrive, walk quickly to the batteries, check out, get back in my car, on the road again. Life is good.
The other day however, I suddenly woke up. Maybe that’s figurative for something deeper, but I literally woke up in a grocery store to the realization that I had been standing in the same spot for two minutes studying the patterns of some succulents on sale.
“What the hell am I doing?”
“I have places to go, things to do!” Then it hit me in the face, equivalent to the force of a four-year-old with a foam baseball bat…. “No I don’t. I have time!”
I don’t feel so rushed anymore. The responsibilities of a regular job tend to take up more mental space than their actual size. I’ve made secondary tasks priorities in my daily schedule which have caused me to suffer from a deadly disease which kills more Americans than any other ailment today (that’s a total fabrication, I think). I’m recovering from haste, the energy-draining, character-depleting, passive aggressive-fueling, insecurity-building mindset synonymous with businessmen who don’t have time for their families and put work before their wives.
I’m only 26 years old. Why do I think that way already? I’m happy to see the first signs of recovery. If I was going to use a cliché to sum up my point I would say, “Stop and smell the roses.” I guess that’s a familiar sentiment. But the issue is deeper than that. Just walk slower and you might get a taste of what I’m talking about. Appreciate the little things.
Slow down. That doesn’t mean that things will take longer to get done, it just means that you’ll notice and appreciate the little things along the way. Those are often the most important things to notice, especially as artists. It’s immensely important for the artist to slow down. We have to notice the details because the little details are what paint the masterpiece. I’m done with the clichés; I promise.