John and I were late to work today. We were already late to work - and since we were riding his moto to work, we decided to stop off for a quick espresso along the way. A quick espresso turned into something more like a quick breakfast and suddenly we were sipping macchiatos on a sunny street, reminiscing about Paris. Which re-engaged a thought from last Friday...
I was running errands on my lunch break, trying to get everything set so we could leave for a weekend trip right from work. I'd been late to work, because I had to finish flipping the cottage, watering the yard, feeding the chickens.. etc. For two days straight, I was running, and I was running behind.
I looked around, and it seemed everyone else was too. Even on a sunny Friday afternoon, all of Seattle seemed to be in a hurry. And in the back of my mind I remembered how different a scene Paris seemed. I felt like no one in Paris was working, except for the restaurant staff. People filled cafes along the street and watched life as they sipped vino... people who were speaking French... on a weekday... during the workday. And it wasn't just that they were taking long lunches or coffee breaks or whatever the literal thing that was happening happened to be, it was that they were walking and talking and tasting as if they had all of their lives ahead of them.
This morning, late to work and sipping a macchiato on a Monday, I tried to explain the thought to John - It's as if they live like they have time - - - and we don't. And that's it. That is what was bubbling somewhere in my brain, trying to take shape - Americans, or Seattleites, or just me - we live like we don't have enough time. We rush, we schedule, we list-make, we rush again and try constantly to 'catch up' and 'get ahead' or return from 'falling behind.' How many of our phrases are rung tightly around this concept of racing with the clock?
So I was late to work today. And I'm okay with that, because we sat for probably only 30 minutes in a coffee shop, but it was Monday morning and we chose to live like we had the time to. Because we do. We have a whole day ahead of us. We rode the bike - we took the long way - we stopped for espresso. It added probably 45 minutes to our commute. And what is 45 minutes when you have your whole life ahead of you? I'll tell you - it's a good conversation with the one you love. It's a centeredness when you walk into the office. It's that strange feeling you get on vacation like the world around you is unknown and uncontrollable, but your life is your own. It's the feeling that you have time.