Monday, September 23, 2013

The Pace of Life

Hannah has got it figured out. How hard does it have to be?

Nap in the sun. Check.
Eat. Check.
Bathroom. Check.
Nap again. Check.

It's the pace of life here in the Azores that continues to throw me for a loop. I was in America for seven weeks, and I immediately returned to the life I was used to. The life I grew up on. How quickly I reverted to my natural instincts.

You go.
You go fast.
You zip in.
You zip out.
You fit things in.
You squeeze.
You hurry.
You collapse.
You do it again.

In America, while exceptions obviously exist, everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is rushing. Rushing here. Rushing there. Rushing all day long. All the time. You rush to get through traffic only to be stuck in it. You rush to get through the store only to wait in line.

What if I had grown up on this island? Would I then be less likely to revert so easily?

Here, on Terceira Island, it truly is, island life. There are supposedly three traffic lights on the island. (I've only seen one.) I can't remember the last time I waited in a line. The Commissary is usually only home to a few customers at a time. There's always a parking spot at the BX. Restaurants are waiting for you and quickly have a table available. Life ... is ... slow.

And for some reason, this is hard for me. I don't know why. It makes very little sense. Walks on the beach. Dinners on the deck. Sitting. Chatting. Napping. Relaxing. Why can't I embrace this freedom? Why do I long to ... go?

My mother-in-law noted it today. "It's like being on vacation all the time," she said. And I concur. Whole-heartedly. And for some reason, that feels wrong. It feels like I should be doing more. Going more. Being more. Experiencing more.

I spent the first 18 years of my life with life jam-packed in. I spent four years at college where, as a Division I athlete, there was usually time for nothing extra. Then there was teaching and coaching and medical school and residency. All we have known is fast.

My friend Carla noted that babies slow you down. I agree with that too. And so I have another baby. And I live on an island. With nothing to go to and a baby to make me say no to the few things I could go to, I find myself feeling like I'm on vacation. There are no schedules to keep. No places I have to be. My job is to take care of myself and my husband and my dog and my babies.

That's it.

Do that.

And I'm trying. It feels weird after our time back in the States. And I know, that as soon as we return to America, next summer most likely, I'll quickly revert back to the fast-paced life.

I have one year to take in this island life. That's it. One year.

And so I'm going to try and do it and embrace it and just ... be.

It shouldn't be hard.

If Hannah can do it, so can I!


Anonymous said...

It sounds heavenly to me! Wish I was there. Wish I could say no to stuff but I do love some of the extra stuff! Glad you are embracing it! Love you! mom

TAV said...

It's so hard to relax sometimes! I find myself trying to multitask constantly. It takes being on *vacation* away from home for me to really let down. Enjoy it!!!

AW said...

Is it rude of me to say I'm jealous??? Because I am. :-(