When the Hustle isn't Necessary

The weight of my stuffed backpack felt heavy and cumbersome. I held tight to the straps as I thought about the weekend I had just spent in Texas. I only saw a few friends and some of my family members, it was a brief yet saturated time. As I made my way off of the plane I was thinking about the school that had not been touched, and the assignments that needed my attention. I had chosen connection over productivity which certainly sounds like the right thing to do when you say it out loud but my productive and perfectionistic desires tend to shout louder than my whispers for ease and peace. 

As I made my way towards the escalators that would take me to the train and finally on my way back to my cozy apartment in Denver, a thought occurred to me and I realized that I was just about to miss the train. I knew that if I rushed down the already moving steps I could probably make it before they shut the doors. Oddly enough (and contrary to my nature), I just stood there and rode the steps downward. As I slowly walked towards the soon to be closing doors I made eye contact with a woman who was already on the train. Whether she meant it or not, or if it was just a story I was creating, I saw disappointment in her face. It was as if I had given up on her and the possibility of catching the ride...If only I would have ran I would have made it onto the train and I would have avoided the terrible misfortune of waiting for another. But my Birkenstocks and backpack felt heavier than ever and I decided not to run, not to force myself into the throng of people, not to leap into the random lady's arms as the doors shut behind me with milliseconds to spare. I chose to wait. 

As strange as this story seems, remembering it makes me smile as I consider the countless times that I did not choose to wait. There are countless times when I have forced my way onto the moving trains or pushed myself into situations, just to prove that I could. Sometimes it is so much better to wait, to settle into a small moment of rest and give up on the rat race. I think we are so quick to jump onto the next platform that we forget to look around and make sure that it is the right one. Or we often think that there is no other option, we must race and run and jump because waiting or "losing" would be too painful. 

Remembering this time that I did not rush for the train reminds me of the fact that I am capable of slowing myself down. This tiny example has given me a glimmer of hope that I have the capacity to give myself a break and bring ease into the everyday struggles of life. Maybe you can miss a train today and maybe you cannot, either way I hope you think about what it means if you catch the train or if you do not. 

Amy ShenkComment