Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Is the Way of the Modern World

Sometimes I feel as though I am standing stock still in the midst of a blur of movement. You know the scene, perhaps from a special effects laden commercial or film: one person slowly taking in their surroundings in the midst of a busy intersection - maybe Times Square or Tokyo - everyone else a flurry of neon as they go about their daily business, lost in technology.

At Bumbershoot one year I saw a short film with a creative take on the speed of modern life. The protagonist, a relatively unambitious slacker (or at least that's what his ex-girlfriend would have us believe) suddenly finds himself living at a pace that is literally slower than that of the world around him. Simply due to the fact that his movements, although seemingly normal to him and us as the audience, are so slow, he becomes invisible, completely escaping the notice of all those around him. To him everyone else has become an undeciferable blur.

Of course, he meets another girl living life in the slow lane, the kind of perfect match one always finds in the movies.

My life in the slow lane isn't quite so literal, but throughout the past several weeks I have felt a slowness seep in to my daily routine. On almost any given night I am at home, making dinner, walking the dog, maybe watching a show on the TV before Michael heads in to work. I have time to take the bus or walk rather than drive, time to make a meal from scratch, time to houseclean without having to squeeze it in. Where did all this time come from? On the one hand I feel blessed to be able to do these things. How many people would say they have the time to cook every night, or to juggle reading four different books in two weeks?

At the same time, I feel, well, a little bored. Life in the fast lane was never my aspiration, but life in the slow lane can start to feel like stagnation. I don't want to be stuck in first gear forever. While I'm proud of the fact that I can typically track my entire schedule in my head, without so much as writing any of it down, this does give me pause.

Ultimately, however, I know that the time I have now won't last forever. As of next weekend, my life will be picking up the pace, and I'll soon busy myself with packing and finalizing details for our road trip, scheduling when to visit friends I haven't seen in awhile, helping our new housemate settle in, and planning for parties and small group gatherings.

With that in mind, I'm content to stay in the slow lane for a little longer... just a little.

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