Tuesday, March 15, 2005

LoL #52: Are you breathing?

It's stating the obvious to say that life moves pretty fast but those of us 80's children can immediately finish off that phrase Ferris Bueller style by saying that if we don't stop to look around once in a while it's true that we might miss it. I have to point this out because it has been over two months since my last LoL and I find myself torn between two arguing schools of thought that say "Sit down and write to your friends!" and the opposing "You don't have time for piling the boring details of your life into a schlock-filled e-mail that won't get read anyway!"

Neddless to say the former school won out and here I am back at the rambling again. Here's the downside though, I really don't have time for this. Somehow in the past couple years life sped up on me. I don't know how or why time does this but each year, month, week, day has seemed to pass in half the typically expected time lately! I almost feel like I steped into Steven King's Dark Tower series where "time is a face on the water" and it's constantly changing with every ripple life throws my way but before I go too abstract I want to talk about a song I heard on the radio the other day. The lyrics are poetic yet perfectly profound when they state:

"You can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
and life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button now
So just cradle your head in your hands
And breathe. Just breathe."

I don't know if anyone else relates to this but there are no do-overs in life and there's an adequate analogy in the idea of an hourglass glued to the table. You can't flip it. Once the sands fall, that's it. And there is no rewind button. We're the VHS versus Beta generation but our lives don't run like that - in fact it seems often our only choices are play or fast forward. But what I like even more about the song is that it doesn't offer a protest that time slipping away from us is unfair or even a plea to make the most of the moments we have - instead there's just a simple instruction to breathe. Just breathe. It's so simple yet I found myself asking myself "Self, have you been breathing lately??"

I don't mean the literal breathing of course. I would be the nightly news's latest medical freak if I was writing e-mails sans oxygen. As cool as it could be to have Chopper Five come land on my lawn, I'm talking about breathing with my life instead of my lungs. It's the idea of having time out moments to reflect and enjoy each new experience in life. Instead of living the fast paced SSDD (same stuff, different day) lifestyle it's recognizing that no two days will ever be identical and each one has a flavor all its own and it's that variety that's meant to be please us. Some would call it living a life with margin. The same way we print out paper with blank spaces on the borders, we also need blank space in our life, so that things aren't overcrowded and if necessary there's room to add in more.

I like writing these LoL's. I think it's my way to stop and take a breath. To reflect and often laugh at whatever's been happening in my life. Yeah, most days are about the same. But then there's the ones where you make a fool of yourself on the train. (When it's a really busy evening sometimes the only available seats are on the stairwells and usually there's room enough for two people - one on the top part, one towards the bottom - and on one such busy day I approached a gentleman sitting on a lower stair and in my tongue tied no-seats-open flustered state I combined "Can I sit on the top stair?" and "Could I sit above you there?" and the question came out as "Could I sit on top of you there?" He looked pretty embarrassed to have me seemingly request his lap but then chuckled and allowed me access to the top step where I sat down and it occurred to me what exactly I had said.) Regardless of whether it's a routine day or an abnormal one, without breathing they'll all seem the same. Since it's almost St. Patty's day, too, I'll use an Irish-tinted metaphor to wrap up this idea. You'll never find the four leaf clover if all you see is a field of shamrocks.

Breathingfully Yours,

lisa :)

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