When Time Stands Still
|image courtesy of Betsy Von Furstenberg|
There are certain times in my life when time stands still: when I put my phone away and read, when I'm in a museum, when I'm having dinner with a friend, when I'm cooking, when I'm writing a letter, any time I'm alone with my sister.
Five years ago I wrote a post The Price of Accomplishment about how an extremely productive year cost me the ability to focus and be in the moment. I had lost the power to make time stand still. Since then I've spent a lot of time exploring the common threads among those moments when the world shrinks down to only the present. And I've decided it comes down to this: when I'm doing one thing and one thing only, that's when time slows down for me.
When fall arrives and the world starts rushing me toward Christmas, I search for opportunities to slow down time and live in the moment. To me, fall is a resting point between a busy summer of travel and adventure, and the six weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve that feel like a joyful, frantic blur.
Each fall I try to bring Brian Andreas' words to life; "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." I take more walks. I trade in my summer reading list for heavier fall volumes. I buy symphony tickets. I call my friends or send them cards instead of texting them. I go on a trip with my sister.
And every year I try to add something new to my repertoire of doing one thing and one thing only. Last fall it was a wheel throwing class. This fall it's mastering Marcella Hazan's Bolognese. The language in the instructions speaks to me: " turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers." It makes me want to turn my own heat down so my fall days cook at the laziest of simmers.