What’s the rush? Why does everyone seem to be in such a hurry? I’m getting to the point when I have a conversation with an actual person (as opposed to hearing from them via text or email) where I feel like I better spill out whatever it is that needs to be said quickly or I will lose the attention of the receiver.
I’ve learned to spit out my words in rapid order. And the words better make perfect sense because whomever I’m talking to doesn’t have a lot of capacity for listening. They have places to go and people to see. They have Twitters to twitter and who knows what they may be missing on Facebook.
Most of the people in my life are very important people because they insist on taking their cell phones with them everywhere. The simple mountain hike gets interrupted by the irritating vibration of a cell phone and the important people I’m with are scrambling to find their “can’t live without” device because surely it is a phone call that cannot be missed.
My adult children are the most impatient with me. This is not a good sign. This could potentially mean that anything and everything that comes out of my mouth is an irritant to them. Wasn’t that supposed to be a phase that occurred only when they were teenagers? Wasn’t I supposed to be obnoxious and irritating only then?
They will come over to visit and I find myself being careful what I talk about. Mainly I’ve learned to not talk about myself. My kids aren’t that interested in me. I mean they love me, they want me to have a rich and full life, but they don’t exactly want to know the details of what that means.
They just really want me to always be there. That’s good enough for them.
Sometimes, my girlfriends also don’t seem to have much patience for me. Sometimes I call them and as soon as they answer the phone they say, “I can’t talk right now!” I find myself apologizing to them for my poor timing. Why? Why do I say I’m sorry for something I had no responsibility for? People do that you know. Especially women. Women will apologize for breathing if you let them.
We go out to dinner with our friends. Most of them have ADD/obsessive compulsive disorder with a splash of claustrophobia on top. As soon as dinner is done, and I mean as soon as dinner is done, they want the check. They need to get up, stretch, walk and do anything rather than linger.
What ever happened to lingering? When was the last time you had a good linger? Ah, the concept of lingering is so wonderful, so sumptuous, and perhaps considered too luxuriant to indulge in. We’ve gotten so busy, so hurried, so rushed. So many of us really do act as if there is going to be no tomorrow.
Lingering is a lost art. To linger is to be reluctant to leave the company you are with. To linger means you want to soak up every minute and slow everything down to a halt. It means that you actually become present in that slow quiet lingering moment.
This weekend, in the early morning when everything looks newborn, I lay down in the grass and did something I haven’t done for a long time. I stretched my body into a comfortable position and looked at the soft morning clouds as they slowly made their way across the awakening sky.
I took deep breaths and was grateful for every one of them. I pushed away the habitual urge to get up and “do”. I had to remind myself that my value is not in what I do but in who I am. So I stayed and I soaked in and remembered what it was like to be a child with nothing but time on my hands and woods to explore. I was a very good lingerer as a child.
Oh and when you linger with the one you love…. ah, all kinds of good juicy melted butter stuff can happen.
Linger today, if only for a couple of moments. You might be surprised what you can learn from absolutely nothing.