We fill our time. It’s that simple.
You have two hours open; you don’t magically leave them open to think, explore or play. Instead, you cram in another to-do, or meeting, or shopping, or whatever. When it’s over, you’re on to the next thing.
We live in a back-to-back world. One thing to the next. Pushing, hustling, making sh*t happen. Time to breathe? Nah, you can do that while you’re doing something else, right?
This week, marks the start of vacation and I decided to take a break from the work I was doing and force my son to take a break from Fortnite, and we headed out to lunch. It was hot, the kind of heat that makes you feel like you’re being cooked alive. You sweat when you take your first steps, and you don’t want to be outside for too long for fear you’ll melt into the ground.
As we walked back to the car, we heard music up ahead, live music. It was a great cover of one of my favorite songs, Skinny Love. As we approached, we saw that there were a few chairs scattered about and less than a handful of people listening, but the artist was singing his heart out. We paused and stood there to listen.
After 20 seconds or so, my son suggested that we needed to leave. After all, we have things to do, a long list that we discussed over lunch. His arm was around my shoulder and mine around his waist, and I gave him a little squeeze and whispered, “We’re right where we need to be.” My son put his head on my shoulder, and we stood there, together, until the end of his song which was also the end of his set.
Walking to the car, I asked him what he thought. My son told me that we needed to remember to enjoy the small moments, every moment. Instead of rushing past them, I added. It may be something I’ve told him before but not something I’ve demonstrated enough.
We’re all busy and have to-do lists that rival the length of the circumference of the planet. Most people I know have their laptops open as if it’s another appendage. Even in their downtime, they watch TV shows, cuddle with their children, and talk to their spouse with their fingers on the keyboard and eyes on the screen.
What if you didn’t? Would your to-do list explode and take you down with it?
Five years from now, in the dueling priorities of life, which ones will you be glad you chose?
Your to-do list won’t suffer when you take a beat to take a breath. In fact, it’s just what you need to do when you need to be and do your best.
Instead of writing a list of 25 things you can do to stop and enjoy the moment, I’ll leave you with one:
Stop and hear the music.
We all have places to be and things to do. Choose to be present, see beauty, and hear awesome music in your life without rushing by… it will change everything.
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