Just now, I posted a tweet saying this:
“This morning I ran into a friend. In stead of stopping and connecting, I said ‘Hi’ and rushed to catch my bus. I’ve felt sad about it since.”
It’s happened before and I could have handled this the way I handled it that time: by simply accepting that getting to work on time is important and we just don’t have the time in the morning to interact with people. Oh dear…
Fate has it that I have been reading ‘Nonviolent Communication’ by Marshall Rosenberg for the last couple of days. While certain parts of this book did not resonate with me at all (especially anything relating to religion), I do agree that there is a big disconnect between the way we run our lives and the way we feel inside. Many decisions we make are based on what we ‘must do’, ‘should do’, or what we are ‘supposed to do’. There is not a lot of ‘want to’ in our every day vocabulary, let alone ‘need to’.
I caught my bus, and started reading the final chapter of the book on my Kindle. At the same time, I allowed myself to find how I felt about what happened, and it turns out I felt sad. I was sad because I did not fulfill my need to connect with a friend, and in stead rushed to get to work.
I used to think work is important, and I still do. But I’m starting to realise that it’s not the most important thing in the world. Nobody would have blinked an eye if I had showed up 15 minutes “late”. Nor should they.
Now all I have to do is unlearn the bad habits that I have allowed to take over my life. It might take a while, since this has been going on for many years, even decades. Luckily, you’re never too old to learn, or to change your ways. And I think it’s important enough to make the effort.
Next time I will stop and connect. My first question will be something like ‘Do you have time for a chat?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, my next question will be ‘Shall we go and have a coffee then? There’s a nice place just around the corner.’ I’m fairly sure it would make for a much better start of both of our days, even when the answer to my first question is ‘No sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.’