Not that long ago I was returning from a long weekend and found myself stuck on the subway stairs behind a woman who was walking at a snail’s pace because all her attention was transfixed on her phone. I finally found an opportunity to move around her and said, “get off your fucking phone” as I brushed past. I can’t say I don’t still feel somewhat justified because people do wander the streets like zombies with their phones these days, and it can be pretty damn annoying. But in this instance, was it really hindering my pursuit of happiness to slow down a little bit? Was it going to negatively impact anything at all in the long run? No. In fact, it might have been a missed opportunity.
Intellectually I’m not really bothered by the idea of waiting, but emotionally I see myself react to it all the time. As soon as I step onto the end of a long line at Whole Foods I feel my chest clench ever so slightly before I take a breath and rein myself back in. It’s such a funny thing to witness, not to mention self-important and ridiculous. “Oh you poor little baby, you have to wait a whole 5 minutes to buy some of the most expensive groceries on the planet to take them back to your apartment in one of the most expensive cities on the planet.” Pull it together.
Being forced to wait or slow down can actually be a gift. People complain all the time about how busy they are and how they don’t have time for anything. Yet, we’re given these little moments to slow down, take a breath, and maybe even find some gratitude. There’s so much science these days behind the benefits of taking a few deep breaths throughout the day. It helps with stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and a myriad of other things. For myself, I’m working to make a habit of it, because it’s far more productive than getting annoyed. That said, do me a favor and don’t text while walking, cuz I might still cuss you out.
Happy Wake-Up Wednesday!
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