This morning I was meant to start work 1 hour earlier. As I will be attending an event this evening, I wanted to start earlier so I can work my 8 hours. But I forgot. I got trapped in the pages of The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, and I completely forgot I am starting at 9. It was 8AM and I was still on the sofa in my pyjamas, sipping from my coffee, and hoping to finish the first part before I’ll go to shower.
But then I realized I actually have to leave it where it is and start getting ready. Where I normally leave at 7:50 if I start at 9, now I left at 8:15, after a quick shower and getting dressed in a pair of jeans instead of the skirt I wanted to wear today. I grabbed the only ready ironed shirt I had, put my shoes on, threw my laptop, my water bottle, my book and my make-up pouch in my backpack, put my coat on and left.
2 months ago I started walking to the train station. Even if today I was late, I didn’t use this as an excuse to take the bus. I walked, while listening to the last and my favourite chapter of Carl Honoré’s “In Praise of Slow”. On my way, I encountered a little girl reading from a Harry Potter book while walking to school. It pleased my heart and I smiled happily. It wasn’t a YouTube video on a screen in her hands.
While I was going up the stairs to the Platform 1, the train to London Waterloo opened its doors. I knew I’ll miss it, but I didn’t rush. I walked at the same pace through the narrow tunnel and went down the stairs towards the platform. The train was still there. I would have probably made it if I ran, but I didn’t. I kept walking.
2 minutes later, the next train arrived, and I walked in. I took a seat and closed my eyes, continuing to listen to my audio book. Carl Honoré was talking about alternative educational systems, home schooling and slowing down instead of rushing our children on a hectic schedule. I loved this chapter the most, because it talked about what hurts me the most these days. We are all in a hurry, forgetting to look around at what really matters. And the worst thing is that we are pushing our kids to do so as well.
I said it in a previous article, I am not a mother yet. And I couldn’t know how I am going to be as a parent until I’ll actually become one. But I know for sure I want my kids to enjoy life, to enjoy playing, to enjoy studying, and to grow healthy at their own pace. That’s what I know for sure. We are hurrying too much in every aspect of our lives, and long term, this will turn us into something we certainly don’t want to become.
After listening to this book, I am even more aware of the importance of taking it slow.
I made it to work 15 minutes later than I was meant to. No one died, no one was hurt.
I am not encouraging lateness; some cultures even consider it disrespectful.
But I am just wondering, what if I would have rushed when I acknowledged the time? I would have probably forgotten something at home, waited for the bus and believe I saved time, because I would have made it to the station a few minutes earlier, running to catch the train I missed, without checking the route, but being happy I’m inside.
And guess what?
I would have ended up being late even more, because that train was actually taking the long route. But because of acting like a headless chicken, I wouldn’t have noticed that until I would have already been in the train. It happened before.
Today is just another proof to me that slow is actually not as bad as many would think.