You know how they say: “Slow down, speed can kill you”? Well, we should use that saying not only while we are driving the car, but when we are just walking down the street, talking to a friend or eating a meal. Living in a place like New York City, every day is a race. We are always on the move: drinking coffee while running to the next appointment, mindlessly eating lunch while solving our life problems, forever glued to our phones filling our minds with more and more useless information, looking for something to fill the “void” and make us happy. What happened to us living and enjoying lives? Baby blue sky with cotton clouds, fragrant flowers, dancing under the sunshine or the rain, texture of the tree you pass by every morning, real belly-laughs with your friends, isn’t enjoying these “little” things what should matter the most, isn’t that what we should call “happiness”?
I had to leave NYC to understand that I was living at 200 mph. When I first got to Paris, I saw such a huge difference in how people live their lives. They always have time to enjoy their morning coffee, flip through pages of a fresh newspaper, take in the sunshine, have lunch with a glass of wine and go for a nice stroll, not a sprint. That’s what I want to have in my life! Not the wine or coffee, though I’m not against that, but being able to enjoy my time on this planet! And how do I do that? How do I start enjoying all the little gifts my life is giving me? I do it by slowing down, by not running mindlessly, by being present. I will put away my phone, slowly sip my coffee, really savour my meals, let sunshine stroke my skin, walk barefoot on the grass, talk to strangers, play more and dance every day. And I don’t care that I will be moving at a different speed from anyone else, we all have our gears we are comfortable with, but by me walking slow, I’ll be taking care of my “happy”. And if we all do our best to take care of our happiness, we will make our world a more beautiful friendly place. So while everyone is in a rush to get somewhere, I’m going to walk slow. I will enjoy my life because I’d be terrified to look back in a few years and realise that it passed by me without me noticing.
Oh, and my phone, I call it “The evil device”! It’s great if you can use it wisely, but if you are letting it use you, always having it in your hand, browsing and searching, always available to answer calls or text messages, then you are giving your power away to a machine. Next time you are at the subway station, have a look at how many people are in their phones, and realise, that their new best friend or the love of their life could be walking past them, and they wouldn’t even notice. One thing that was supposed to bring us all closer together, make it easier for us to connect, is tearing us apart. Isn’t that scary? A machine doesn’t have one life, and it has nothing to lose, but you do! So, slow down, turn off your phone, make new friends, take in life, smile at it, accept it as it is right now and live it entirely. You don’t want to be missing happiness not because you didn’t find it, but because you walked too fast to enjoy it.