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What’s the Rush?

I often wonder what we are all rushing towards. I’m certainly also guilty of rushing, but I am trying to consciously slow down. Because really, what’s the rush? When I worked in Germany I used to always rush home. To what? I’ll tell you. Netflix and a yuck dinner (I couldn’t cook back then). You can see why I would rush from the bus to the train and then practically run from the train station through the city to come home to that. I mean, who wouldn’t? Guys, we were talking about another episode of Friends that I had already seen 887 times and rice with beans.

I have since then started rushing less, because I have realised that unless I’m about to miss my flight (which I never am anymore since my partner insists on arriving at the airport five hours early) rarely ever do I actually need to rush. Nine out of ten times I have time to sit down and drink my coffee instead of getting it to-go. Because are we really so busy that we can’t even sit down with a cup of coffee anymore?

What exactly is it that we are rushing to? Netflix? Mindlessly scrolling through Instagram? Yelling at our spouse? A million dollars? Half the time I don’t even think we know that we are rushing, let alone why we are rushing.

When we rush through life, we risk missing out on life. When we are so busy rushing, we forget to live. We forget to be present. We forget to sit down and enjoy that cup of coffee instead of mindlessly chugging it down while driving and talking on the phone at the same time. We might miss out on a beautiful friendship because we had to rush out of the yoga studio instead of staying for an extra five minutes. We miss out on extraordinary moments while travelling because we’re busy planning the next trip or posting on Instagram.

I believe life becomes richer when we slow down. When we don’t rush to get to places. When we take the time. I have had far more extraordinary moments and beautiful connections when I take my time and slow down instead of rush. From getting a local’s tips and tricks for Istanbul to hearing about a young person’s dreams of studying in Rome. Or listening to a couple’s romantic love story while on a bus in Turkey. Or being tricked into buying not one, but two paintings in Cairo (perhaps a time where rushing would have been better, but oh, well). Even just taking the time to eat my breakfast at a little sidewalk café in Amman and allow myself to be inspired by the people around me. Or meeting a fellow hiker in Queenstown and taking the time to walk with her instead of rushing down by myself. It made my hike so much better, and we are still in touch to this day!

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I am happier, more joyful and more content when I slow down. When I rush I become irritated and short with people. I am not the best version of myself. When I slow down and breathe, my life feels so much richer.

So, next time you’re rushing, ask yourself if you really need to rush, or do you have time to go for that walk with your spouse down to the beach? Do you have time to drink your coffee at the coffee shop instead of getting it to-go? Do you have time to chat to the person sitting next to you?