“NEVER LET THE URGENT CROWD OUT THE IMPORTANT.” ~ KELLY CATLIN WALKER
I had a chock full o’ nuts looong weekend with friends planned: a Broadway show on Thursday, a concert on Friday, a day trip out to the Hamptons on Saturday, dinner on Sunday, holiday shopping on Monday – squeeze in a coffee date, errands, and a few hours of daily writing, mix with the frenetic pace of NYC and what do I get? An itinerary like a Napoleon – alternating layers of pleasure and anxiety.
Why would I over-schedule myself like this? Because, despite the transcendental paradise that Maine is, the one thing that’s missing from my Down East sabbatical is companionship. Yes, I’m making new friends, but I sure do miss the ones who knew me when… Staying connected is not the issue – technology ensures mutual status updating, rather it’s the arm-in-arm, down-the-street skipping that I crave. So when my overnight bag gets antsy and the Toyota points southwest, efficiency mode goes into full effect and my dance card fills.
But I know the most pleasurable moments are when we have no particular place to go: those days that unfold naturally, feeling like we have all the time in the world – when urgency and expectation take a backseat to spontaneity, and seriousness yields to the carefree. We stifle our days with the economical, cramming every hour with activity, but we can’t blame our busyness on business, for even outside the realm of work it’s our generally accepted culture to pack it in. If we’re not armed with a timepiece, an electronic organizer, an agenda and a timetable, the world seems overwhelming and we feel under-achieving. How else do we manage all we need, want, and like to do? We must be vigilant, lest we forget the fun that can be had when we slip down the rabbit hole.
So how did it all turn out? I (mostly) heeded the warning that was my anxiousness, but I still need some practice surrendering my Blackberry. Nevertheless, with dear friends I shared Shakespeare, a moonlit beach stroll, 6 stops on the F train, and a let’s-try-on-goofy-animal-hats fashion show at an outdoor market.
That balance has appeared in my life is blessing; that it moves from understudy to star will take some more rehearsing. Until then, the perfect cure for feeling time-crunched is a bit of whimsy. And I have the perfect friends with whom to indulge my silly side.