This might sound a bit contradictory considering my post last week, but I’m always getting that feeling that everything is going too fast. It’s the modern disease as we are constantly told and no matter how much I try to slow life down it carries on accelerating regardless. So when I read an article earlier in the week in the Guardian called The Art of Slow Reading I thought I’d had a eureka moment. However, I failed in even meeting the prediction of the first paragraph – the only way I got past the fifth was by skim-reading and the promise that I’d get around to reading it later. And here’s the paradox – later hasn’t arrived yet. And so it is that everything becomes a rush. Or is it?
Books are an interesting learning point for me. Late last year my father-in-law lent me The Ghost by Robert Harris, telling me that given an interest in politics I’d enjoy it. The book sat there for several months before I decided I had to read it before we all went on holiday together last month. What a decision that was. The book was fantastic – for those who’ve not read it I recommend it. The parallels with a certain British ex-PM aren’t hidden and it raises interesting geopolitical conundrums. But best of all, I couldn’t put it down. So much so that I started taking slower trains to work to get those few precious minutes longer with the book. Yes I read slowly, but this time I was enjoying it. I’d found how to slow time again. Give me some quality reading time and I’ll take it now.
But when I am on my bike, time becomes all important again. I’m conscious of the time available to ride, seeing each session as a moment snatched away from other chores and tasks, something to be traded off. When I’m on the bike I’m thinking about upping that average speed, cutting time off my time for that route in pursuit of improvement. All in all I now feel tired and even the recovery ride turns into another dash. It’s that spiral of lost time again.
So what I need to do is slow down. Treat the cycling (and most other parts of life) like a good book: slow down, immerse in the moment, revel in the quality and (you couldn’t see this coming could you) feel groovy. (I can’t believe I did that either!) Tomorrow I start afresh.