Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The rat race

I've always tried to avoid the classical 'rat race'. I can't see the point in spending an entire life time rushing from one meeting to another and only having enough time at home to eat, shower and sleep - and sometimes not even eat. But I've found that living in the city engenders it's own kind of race.

Everything here is FAST. Decisions have to be made quickly, arrangements have to be made early, lots of things have to be done in a short amount of time. I always feel busy, and those times I'm not busy I look for something to do that keeps me busy until the next series of processes are put in place. I'm afraid I'm losing my ability to relax. And I'm afraid that loss will mean a loss of something inside me. I won't be the same person anymore.

Not all of this is a bad thing. I love the way my mind is stretched when I'm working on three or four projects at once. I love juggling things when it's busy like that.

But I also love just sitting and watching the world go by. I can sit at a window and watch the trees on the mountain sway with the breezes for hours and never feel bored. I can close my eyes and listen to the magpies welcome the morning and the kookaburras warn others from their territory and breathe the peace of the world into my soul. Unfortunately those moments are getting shorter and a longer time passes between them.

I remember reading Henry David Thoreau years ago. I found his writing style stilted and boring but the images he created and the passion he felt for nature have stayed with me. The older I get the more I think about it.
I long to move to a simpler time. Don't get me wrong: I still want electricity, internet and reliable plumbing, but I yearn for a closer connection to nature. I want to be somewhere that I can't hear traffic noises 24 hours a day, somewhere my neighbours are far enough away that they can have visitors and I can't hear every word of their conversation. I could calm my mind and let it wander where it will. I could nurture my imagination and forget the demands of everyday living, just for a little while.

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