I’m standing at the counter at home finally writing a new blog after some minor surgery which is taking a long time to heal. (Several friends and associates have reminded me that there is no minor surgery. I now believe them). Up to this point, I’d gotten through life with no surgery. (I had 24 stitches in my leg after a chain saw accident, but that was local anesthetic and out the emergency room door when finished, so it didn’t count)
For the first time in my life I’ve forced to stop all regular activities.
As I lay on the couch watching movies, listening to healing music tapes, reading Journey of Souls, Firefox for Dummies, and playing with my Mac, I’m finding this: There are more important things than college presidents, (and I love my president). There’s more in life than the latest technology, the fact that Web advertising will out pace radio advertising in 2008, and on and on.
For the first time in my life I’m unable to drive, sit or move fast. I have entire days and nights with no appointments or deadlines. I have to create my own life within the parameters of my physical limitations. While I believe that we do, for the most part, create our own reality, now it is before me with no distractions It is morning, the day is ahead, how do I want to fill it? It was all up to me.
I find myself watching movies that had lounged on my shelves for years. I read books I’d been meaning to for a long time. I’m forced into a pace I’m not used to.
And as I get used to it, it feels good.
For the first time I appreciated how frenetic my life had become — news releases, publications, podcasts, blogs, speaking engagements, special projects and meetings. I was counting my life out in minutes, and the problem was I knew it.
The real revelation?
I’m not alone. Just about all of us in higher ed or any profession, are experiencing the same thing.
I know it’s easy to say we have to slow down, but now that I’ve experienced a slower pace, I can say it with authority.
We’ve allowed time and technology speed us up to such a degree that we delete art, entertainment, culture, education and contemplation because they take too long.
I’m not kidding myself. When I’m back on my feet, I’ll probably get sucked back into the fast pace. But right now, moving very slowly and playing with our three dogs outside and watching their grace, energy and total commitment to play, reminds me that there’s more to life than the professional rush.
If you have kids, they grow up too fast and every moment you don’t spend with them is a moment gone forever. The moments you do spend with them are eternal.
If your kids are grown, there’s your spouse, the ever-changing art of clouds, the glorious living mathematics of nature.
I love my profession. It uplifting, challenging and a continual learning experience.
But there’s more.
A one-hour surgery has kept me down for more than a week, a week of introspection, relaxation (okay, a little painful) and quiet enlightenment.
If you want to see what I actually did for more than a week, see my personal blog.
Meanwhile, just for the heck of it, fill in the blank below, send it to me and share it with others. We’ll all benefit.
There’s more to life than ____________________________