in Self Improvement

The slow down

Realizing when it’s time to stop and take a deep whiff of this little thing called life

I move too fast. Maybe it’s the coffee, my obsessive compulsive tendencies, or the fact that I have the attention span of a toddler with a room full of objects to taste, but I feel like I’m always running through the forest, missing out on experiencing each tree.

Take dinner tonight, for example. We were having In N Out burger because the I-10 was a nightmare (as is tradition), and I only made it in time to pick up my daughter from her afterschool program because Apple Maps found a route that took me through a residential neighborhood and around the airport.

Anyway, I had just gotten an Amazon Fire TV Stick through my work’s employee incentive program, and I could not wait to set it up. While the rest of the family was eating, I was getting grease all over my shiny, new Alexa-enabled Fire TV remote. Seriously. And not once did it occur to me that the world would not come crashing down around me if I didn’t get to play with my new hardware the minute I walked into my house.

Instant gratification. I look for it all the time – at work, the grocery store and, hell, even in the Starbucks drive thru. I’m the guy in front of you who takes forever to pull forward after receiving his drink because I need caffeine now, bro, and this straw isn’t going to unwrap itself.

This “now” mentality permeates every facet of my life. Books have maybe ten pages to prove to me that they don’t suck. Movies, maybe five minutes. I’m even pretty sure that brevity is the main reason haiku fascinates me. You can’t get bored if the poem’s over before you can even decide if you’re enjoying it. Is there a 12-step program for functioning derelicts with a raging case of the “gimme gimmes?”

Because if there is, I feel like the first step is admitting I have a problem. As is tradition.