Thursday, December 5, 2013

Never Slowing Down

Life doesn't slow down. I know we all like to talk about "when things slow down" we'll do this and that, or finally relax, or have more time for things that have fallen by the wayside; we're kidding ourselves. Life is the ultimate perpetual motion machine that, if anything, only speeds up as days go by.

When we're kids time seems to pass so slowly. We complain, and our elders tell us one day we'll wish we had those slow-passing days back. It makes sense; as you age a day or year takes up a smaller and smaller percentage of your life, so that one year when you're 5 is 1/5 of your entire existence, but when you're 50. . . well that's another story altogether, isn't it?

Over the last year in particular I've found repeatedly thinking '[insert month here] is going to be so fun but crazy busy; it'll be nice when things slow down and I can take a breath'. . . Then the next month rolled around and, you guessed it, same thing happened. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure as hell not complaining; I've got so many things to do both for school/work and to divert myself, and now that it's officially ski season my weekends are pretty much booked (that beer's not gonna drink itself, nor will my skis trash themselves. . . which is fortunate I guess). It's really easy though, when life gets busy and then never lets up, to stop paying attention to some things.

The first thing that goes for a lot of people is making time for fun (if they're busy with work) or taking the time to do the work that needs to be done (if fun makes up most of their agenda). Balancing the two is important, and I think most people recognize that even if they don't know how to achieve it. Next to go is time with friends; this one bothers me for a variety of reasons. First off, friendship takes work; you get out what you put in, and if you just stop paying attention to your friends. . . well they might not be there when you decide you have time for them again. Some friendships are easier, where you can just text or call them after months of silence and things are the same as they ever were, but that's not the way to bet (unless you are okay with risking that particular friend). Next, think about what that other person, the one you no longer have time for, may be feeling when you go all radio-silence on them. Yeah, not fun; they may be thinking they've wronged you, or that they're not important, or any number of things. If you honestly don't have time to hang out with anyone, communicate that; but know that if you are posting pics online of hanging out with some people, then those you aren't spending time with any longer are going to simply see as a slight.

That's a super random tangent; no one's slighted me like this in a long while. Since my December is super busy, and I've got my prelim exam coming up next semester, I'm worried about doing that to others, or getting stressed out from trying to juggle everything (my hand-eye coordination is not nearly that good). So this is my way of letting the world know: I still like y'all just fine, I'm just busy, but I'm always down for a beer and pool. You've got to blow off steam somehow, and what better way than chilling with friends?

So for those of you who are stressed/busy and waiting for things to slow down, I'm sorry to say that it isn't going to happen. Life has a way of getting in the way of having a life sometimes, and you just have to roll with it. Take a deep breath, make a list of things you have to and want to do, and keep looking upward and onward. Can't find the steeper side sitting still, can you?

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