Is Life a Race

By: Christine Hersom

(3 min read)

We all remember the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. It is race day and the Hare is full of self confidence in his ability to win the race. I mean really, who believed the Tortoise would win. I bet on the Hare every time my grandmother read me the story.  I knew the ending and still believed the Hare would learn his lesson and win.

As a society, we have preconditioned ourselves to race in life. We race to work, race home to make dinner, race to the weekend only to keep on racing. We spend so much time hurrying to the next task or event that we totally forget to live life. Like the Hare in the story, we believe there will be time to enjoy the simple things after we have achieved our goals.

When I was growing up, I was very competitive. Sports, grades, and horse shows. I was even competitive about waking up. I wanted to be the first to wake up in the house. I think I felt like some sort of martyr when my parents would talk about being exhausted. Exhausted??? I’m not tired, and I was the first one up. I bet my parents are looking down at me now and saying, “See. Racing through life is exhausting.”

My sister was the polar opposite of me. She slept in. She was never in a race for anything. Half the time she was late for everything. My sister has passed now. But I think back to our childhood and wonder if she enjoyed life more because she slowed down and lived it. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my life. But I wonder if I missed a lot of the beauty around me because I was always in a race to the next event.

Now that I am older, I do slow down and enjoy what life has to offer. It seems easier now than when I was younger. I love to look for the beauty in everyday objects, the yard, and the people in my life. As I wrote in my last blog, I love to look for shapes in the clouds. Sometimes I will get so caught up in looking that I lose all track of time. To me, that is living.

I try to reinforce to my grandchildren that life is not a race to win, but a journey to enjoy and live. I will admit that I still suffer from the “Race” mentality at times. I find that when I am driving somewhere I want everybody to get out of my way and let me get there. Or worse yet, I run into the grocery store for one thing and get caught behind the lady with a month’s groceries in her cart. I used have  to put my item back and drive to another store. I can’t tell you how much time I wasted doing that. How dare these people slow me down…don’t they know I have something to do. I can never get back the amount of time I have wasted trying to rush. It’s a part of life I didn’t enjoy.

A perfect example to me lately of the “Race” is my youngest granddaughter. She is thirteen months old and still doesn’t walk. Her pediatrician has sent a delayed development physical therapist to work with her. My granddaughter loves her as do the rest of us. But are we pushing her to walk faster and grow faster? Is learning to walk a race? Does my granddaughter have gross motor skills delays or is she just enjoying life? I guess we’ll never know.

As a society, we push ourselves for more speed and productivity. If we aren’t promoted yearly, we must not be working hard enough. I was a part of the “Race” for so long and now I find myself constantly telling my children to slow down and enjoy the moment. The “Race” will still be there, but the flowers on the rose bush will not wait.

We are all on the journey of life. Whether we race or whether we take our time and enjoy the beauty, we will all get to the end together. Some may have enjoyed the journey more.

Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC

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