I hustle to put together a simple breakfast and get ready for work. I get off work. Then I race against the sun to get in as much playtime as possible.
Most days I repeat this routine, and am exhilarated by the lifestyle available to us Whitefish residents. In one year of living here I have felt lucky to embrace such a world of infinite recreation. On any given day I could hike, bike, run, paddle board, kayak, or canoe. On a lucky weekend I could extend the adventure by camping, rafting or maybe backpacking. This is the first time such an active lifestyle has graced my reality. I feel healthy, and am excited to be constantly surrounded by other people embracing a similar life.
Despite how wonderful this is, I am slowly learning and realizing the art of slowing down. I’d heard my dad, who is from Iran, speak a few years ago about how Americans seemingly have a hard time relaxing. We work, work, work, and don’t know how to stop until the end. I hear of siestas, have witnessed long social lunches, shorter work days, meditation. I have seen my own family take time to have a few cups of tea together and enjoy each other’s company.
I’ve watched my mom patiently fly fish and wander the forest picking wildflowers to paint and press. Perhaps we (or maybe I) do have a problem with stillness. It seems like we equate success with how busy and productive we are. At a certain point, insistently moving can be a busy version of nothing.
The addiction to business, along with constant distraction by technology, makes it hard for the mind to settle. It’s important to be ok with nothingness, moments when we aren’t actually doing anything. And to not feel bad for it, or that we are missing out on something else, or something better.
I’m not sure what this race against time means if we don’t ever slow down to enjoy it. Though I do believe in staying active and working hard to achieve goals, there is a beauty in allowing time in our lives to also foster creativity, rejuvenate our minds, converse over a cup of coffee, or fill our hearts with whatever means we connect with.
Be it outside, inside, or both, find time for stillness.
Post by Shiva Solaimanian, BadAssador