How are you? Are you settling into the Fall, or still holding onto Summer? Maybe you’re too busy to notice how you feel about the seasons. Maybe you’re like me – full-speed ahead at all times until you glance up, weeks later, wondering where the time went. But really, it’s not that life’s passing, it’s me not paying attention to it.
On Monday I was on my way to LaGuardia, typing furiously into my phone, stressing about the emails I wasn’t getting (data roaming, no thanks) and generally having kind of a crap day. It was really hard to find a car and the one that I did find was cash-only, but I didn’t have enough American cash to cover the total. So I asked if I could pay by card.
“I’m sorry but I don’t take credit,” the driver said.
“What do you mean you don’t take credit?” I snapped (I did! I totally snapped at the poor guy)
He shrugged. So then I told him:
“I guess I’ll have to give you the difference in Canadian” Super bratty move. American’s usually scoff at Canadian currency. It’s like Monopoly money to them. But instead:
“Sure,” he said, and shrugged again. “I never had Canadian money before, Maybe I’ll hold onto this – it’s a pretty green colour, this bill.”
Then he asked me if I was comfortable and if I would ike a bottle of water. His energy was so calm and kind, it slowed my roll. I put down my phone and made a conscious decision to relax. We chatted the entire way to the airport – these were deep chats, let me tell you – about finding peace through meditation, the importance of supporting people, being present with others and forgiveness.
“Life is precious. The right moment is always now, no question,” he told me. I shook his hand when I got to the terminal. He never even told me his name.
While waiting for the plane, I started something for work that I was anxious to finish, so when I got to my seat I pulled out my laptop and kept going. Next to me, a sweet little Indian lady fidgeted in her seat, smiling whenever I looked over at her. She wanted to talk, but I wanted to work. Here was an opportunity to practice being present. I closed my laptop, smiled back and introduced myself.
I learned that she was heading to Toronto for a 40+ year reunion with her University classmates, who were flying in from all over the world. This was her first visit to Canada.
“I’m so proud of my friends. Everyone has achieved such great success. And not just that they have made money, because that’s not the most important thing,” she told me. “I’m proudest most of the joy my friends have found and that we still care for each other, after all these years. Life is so very precious, isn’t it?”
It’s pretty clear the universe is trying to tell me something. I need to slow down – put away my phone, quiet my mind, be here now.