Since I finished my cross country adventure 10 days ago, I’ve been staying with my son and his boyfriend in DC while waiting for my wife to come and pick me up. She arrives today — Yay!
As I’ve interacted with the people of this bustling city, I’ve noticed some changes in my perspective. I’m guessing they won’t be permanent but I hope some vestige remains with me as I go forward. I wrote about the grandeur of our nation as I rode across it. The magnitude of the landscape made me feel how small I am in the grand scheme of things. Imagine how small the everyday annoyances seem in comparison. People, we take ourselves too seriously. We are so busy rushing from place to place and task to task that we never, or rarely, take time to live in the current moment in the current place. In the end, it’s only those current moments that matter.
I quipped after my Lake Michigan ride that life looks different at 12 miles per hour. I think I’ll make that my new motto for life. As I strolled thru the crowds of Washington listening to the locals complain about the tourists, and the tourists complain about the locals, and all of them complain about me, I felt like an alien. I was the only one who wasn’t in any hurry. I had no particular place to go, and it allowed an interesting perspective on all the people who did. I watched people stampede over one another so they could stand on the Metro platform waiting for the next train. I watched people cross streets against the light so they could wait at the next intersection for the light to change. I watched people rush to be first to enter an exhibit where they waited for everyone else to enter before the tour guide began his speech. Each time I laughed.
Now I don’t want to get all mushy or preachy about this. As I said, this sentiment isn’t likely to last long once I get back to my daily grind. I do want to throw the reflection out there for you to ponder. You aren’t likely to get a chance to spend 45 days in a singular pursuit like I did. If you do get the chance, take it. If not, take a little time to consider your current moment. It’s the only one you have.