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Scheme of Things

Accelerating Time
By Nan S. Russell
Jun 4, 2013 - 6:13:13 PM

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Carpeting the forests, hills, and meadows in northwestern Montana, plants burst through the thick, muddy, spring snow-melt, as if determined to reach their full potential before the short growing season ends. Sometimes my life feels like those plants look - accelerating like a time-lapsed video.

Even before the summer solstice, I've been declaring summer over. It's packed with publisher deadlines for a new book, a granddaughter's birthday celebration with the Princesses and Mickey Mouse, travels to visit my elderly mother, a trip to the Canadian Rockies, topped off with a new website project, multiple speaking engagements, and commitments to family and friends.

Now, at the start of June, I find myself planning my September and October writing and business schedule. It seems I've resigned myself to summer already being gone. I'm focused not on living the day in front of me, but pushing time forward, as my mind moves to fall.

This is certainly not the first time. To say I'm a bit of a planner is an understatement. So, once again, I find myself living my tomorrows before my todays, leapfrogging from now into a future acceleration frenzy. Sometimes, I feel that the planning of my life is taking over my life. If I'm not careful, when the first Christmas ornaments compete with Halloween candy for shelf-space, I'll be fast-forwarding to Christmas and into the new year, feeling the year already over; forgetting how much still remains.

What is it that makes us want to speed past the now to get to the future; like the child on a family trip continuously asking, "Are we there yet?" If we're not paying attention, it's easy to miss the journey. You can't stop to smell the roses when you're whizzing by too fast to know they're there. In all my goal setting and dream-making, I sometimes miss the one about enjoying today.

I've come to understand that unless I stay consciously self-aware, it's too easy to rush life. It's too easy to squander today's time thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. It's too easy to trade today for the hopes of tomorrow, undervaluing each sunrise by forgetting time is not a renewable resource.

I find, in the scheme of things, time doesn't need me accelerating it. It evaporates fast enough by itself. But, I can slow down or speed up my sense of it by where I place my focus. It's not easy for me to stop accelerating time, but I'm getting better at noticing, pausing, and doing a speed-of-life alignment. Cliché or not, I got it. This is it. Now is the time there is. And summer? I'm taking a fresh look. I just noticed it's barely started.

c) 2013 Nan S. Russell. All Rights Reserved.

Nan S. Russell is the award-winning author of "Hitting Your Stride: Your Work, Your Way." Her third book, "The Titleless Leader," was published May 2012. More about Nan and her work can be found at  Sign up to receive Nan's free monthly eColumn at:

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