When I was younger, like most children, I wanted nothing more than to grow up, looking eagerly forward to each birthday, to being one year older. I didn’t believe adults when they told me to enjoy being young, not to wish it all away.
Now I’m an adult I’ve realised how right they were. Time is speeding up with each year that passes, and it feels as if I’m on a treadmill that’s starting to move faster than I can run. There are suddenly a hundred things to fit into each day and no possible way of getting everything done. Emails go unanswered, books unread, ironing ignored… okay, who am I kidding? – students don’t iron! My point is that there is an almost constant pressure to keep moving forward, to jump from one thing to the next, filling every waking moment (and sometimes sleeping moments too) with activity.
It’s gotten to a point where I feel guilty every time I do something “unproductive”.
Sometimes I try to convince myself that it’s okay to slow down, and on some levels perhaps this is true. It’s good to slow down and appreciate the things around us and, more importantly, the people around us. It’s also true to say that there isn’t time to slow down, however. We live in a world that is constantly moving, and we must keep moving too if we want to avoid an embarrassing fall off the back of the treadmill.
With this movement comes prioritisation though. We cannot expect to maintain momentum in every area; we must focus in on certain tasks or ideas, and leave time to enjoy the little moments we experience along the way. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.