Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Fast Lane or the Slow Lane?

In which lane do you live your life?  I suppose it depends upon how you define those terms. I don’t live a risky or dangerous life, which is one definition, but I am pretty active, which is another.  I’d say I lead a quiet but busy life; does that put me in the fast lane or the slow one? I work a fairly demanding job, but I work at home, so I don’t have a stressful daily commute. I don’t have children, so I’m not a road warrior like some of my friends, whose scheduling gymnastics boggle the mind.   

No matter which lane we operate in, most of us are thankful for Labor Day weekend.   I felt like I was in the fast lane last week when I was working my typical ten-hour days and kept thinking I needed to pack for our annual Labor Day trip to the mountains.  I couldn’t seem to set aside 30 minutes to get organized and almost ran out the door without the sheets and towels for the cabin.  I did manage to pack some wine and throw some clothes in a suitcase, but I did all that at 1:30 PM right before our 2 PM departure.   

This year we left our dogs at home with a critter sitter and instead took our bicycles with us. I managed to stay in the slow lane each morning because I didn’t have a dog nudging my hand from 5 AM on, insisting I needed to get up. In fact, I actually slept in until 8:30 one morning, and, once I got up, I drank coffee and stayed in my robe until 10. 

I could say we shifted into the fast lane when we took our bicycles out for a ride, though there wasn’t anything speedy about how we climbed the hills.  Slow but steady is how I describe my riding style. I was just proud I didn’t have to walk up any hills. 

The slow lane beckoned once again, whenever we hit the rocking chair porch.  That porch demands that you rock, read, chat, or simply stare into space. My favorite spot is the chair swing, and after a bit of time there, I’m ready for an afternoon nap.  Other than an hour of cycling and a short hike one day, we pretty much stayed in the slow lane Friday evening through Monday morning. 

Do you start to gear up for the work week whenever you pack up to return from a trip? I do.  Once we   packed and hit the road, I started thinking about the week ahead.  And, as soon as we arrived home and said hello to the pets, I just had to sit down at my computer and get my ducks in a row for the next day.  Only after that could I briefly re-enter the slow lane with a leisurely reading of the Saturday and Sunday papers. 

I’m definitely back in the fast lane now.  I started Tuesday morning with the 5 am nudge from the dog, coffee in front of the computer, a trip to the gym and then back home to spend the rest of the day and early evening at my computer again.  After cooking dinner and watching a bit of TV, I did another short stint on work emails and then unwound in bed with a mystery novel before turning out the light.  

I’ve never lived the Eagle’s version of Life in the Fast Lane--“Out every evening, until it was light”--but neither do I live life at a leisurely pace. Perhaps I operate mostly in the center lane. How about you?