May 20, 2013 § 5 Comments
On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland and nearly 15 hours later landed in Ireland, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
I applaud her courage, her sass, her confidence, her skill, and her devotion to a dream!
And that’s all I was going to say. Except then this thought came along for the ride…. that sometimes I feel like we’re all flying, flying through time and space, yet we’re moving from one thing to the next with an odd sense of urgency, like an almost directionless wave. Are we piloting, or going wherever the wind propels us ~ and in the end, does it even matter?
Amelia had a goal, for which she was very clear and very determined. Her eye was on the prize; nothing deterred her vision. Distractions were temporary ~ in contrast to today’s practically full-time, ongoing societal movement of distraction and sense of go-go-go to the next thing, the next chore, the next gadget, the next appointment, the next video, the next news cycle, the next facebook post that will fill in the void created in the five minutes between.
When do we sleep? When do we sit still and just be? Talk with a friend? It’s almost as though those things have become diversions. I find that sad. I also find it true. And I also feel grateful that I have at least a couple of personal outlets that take me away from the frantic “gotta do this” mentality – a mentality which is very real, but also a manufactured product resulting from the marvel of technology allowing us to access everything NOW. We’re like little children who want to stay up so we don’t miss anything. We’re like subscribers to a virtual Life Magazine, interested mainly in the quick pictures.
And so we tell ourselves, oh, who cares about the cobwebs creeping down the walls, there’s no time for that. We get pulled in, sucked in (whooshing sound – can’t you hear it?), carried into the current. And time goes by without our noticing. It literally seems to fly – but not the same kind of dedicated flight Amelia ventured upon; not at all. And is that good or is it bad? Is it just different?
Is it harder to have focused goals like Amelia Earhart had, when we are driven to distraction in modern daily life? (Not counting those wealthy enough to hire others to handle the mundane.) Goals were simpler, “cleaner” way back when. Farmers sowed seeds in one season, harvested in another. Granted, that was hard work, certainly no walk in the park, but now it’s as if hoeing and tilling and sowing and harvesting and reaping are simultaneous actions, and then everyone needs to broadcast and re-broadcast their progress so the world will know that their tomatoes are the best tomatoes ~ because by tonight, something else will have our attention.
Time will tell… but I know that I need to do something organic everyday to counterbalance all the time spent electronically, that computerized place that’s “open all night”, around the clock, every day of the year, for business or play. There is a great usefulness there, and I value that, but I think it’s all too easy to lose sight of one’s own “prize” in the process. So I need to walk away now and then, whether it’s to pull a few weeds from the garden, play a few notes on the piano, draw, swim, stop and pet my cats. Spend some time with myself, the core me, not the “what am I going to share next with the world” me. Meditate. Stay away from my to-do lists.
It’s just hard to find the time… but I’m going to go do that very thing right now. An hour should do it. Maybe I’ll start by contemplating Amelia’s wisdom. Or maybe I’ll just thank Amelia for reminding us that we can do anything we set out to do, and then go feed the birds and not think at all.
ps: Sorry for getting all off base here from the original intent of a quick, light post, but sometimes it spills out and I’m not going to change it because I’m now on a bird-watching mission.
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