Lately I have been noticing my constant demand for efficiency that I place on myself.
I get frustrated with traffic when I am traveling from one place to another. I delay my lunch break at work to finish a task completely, even though my body is telling me that I am hungry. I check my email in between weight lifting sets at the gym.
I think a lot of elements of our society encourage this demand for efficiency, from express lanes on the highway, to Starbucks mobile ordering. And in some cases, efficiency is good; putting a little fire under your seat is needed to keep the supplies and demands of life functioning.
Do you ever just stop in the awe of how much can change in the course of just a year? Around this time last summer, I was studying abroad in a small village in central Italy, and I remember being in quite a state of shell shock at the simplicity of life. I was so uncomfortable with simply being.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how profound something so simple was, and is, to me and how I structure my life. A lot of these demands for efficiency are stemmed from personal pressures. I hold my summer in la città di Urbino close to my heart because I gained so much self awareness over the course of those seven weeks; self awareness that awakens me from approaching the daily grind as a grind, and instead, pockets of opportunity for growth and being present.
I think this is a reminder that we all need from time to time: efficiency is not always the answer. Drive at, not above, the speed limit, turn your phone off for a bit, talk to the person next to you in line at Starbucks. Look UP.