Monday, June 29, 2009

faster = better? or should we slow down?

working in a company where faster always = better, not only in products we make but also in all processes we follow, i pretty much have it ingrained into my brain that i must do everything in the most efficient way possible.

this changed a little when i was on my sabbatical a month ago. all of a sudden, choosing the shortest line in a grocery store wasn't such an important life-changing decision! i also enjoyed my meals slowly and not try to gobble down everything in 10 minutes so i could go back to work or chores. i still drove in the leftmost lane along with traffic, but i had less anxiety that i am spending time not doing something "useful".

during my sabbatical, i also picked up piano lessons that i abandoned a decade ago. it is really peaceful and soothing to play the melodies, and just lose myself in them. playing really fast or finishing all the notes quickly is not the goal here, i can play adagio or rit. as i wish to make the piece more beautiful and expressive. while practicing, i don't think about "what could i be doing right now?" or "what will i do after practicing?" instead, i just focus on the playing itself. it does wonders not only in improving my skills, but making myself calmer and happier.

of course, a month back in the craziness that is work, the tranquility is long gone. i still practice almost daily, and just have my little time of peace and quiet every night (unless i'm playing a loud piece, ha!) i am trying to incorporate this into other aspects of my life too, to slow down once in a while and just breathe. **exhale**