One thing at a time

That is something I say a lot to my Mother, as she tends to over think and move faster than her thoughts: a different version of Lucky Luke, minus the shooting part. Years ago, it was difficult to discuss, as she was (and still is) an important authority I respect in my life. It was putting pressure on my attempts and ideas, or so I perceived it. Then I learned and started telling myself: “One day you will look back and see how easy it would have been if you had not decided to make it so hard.”

Off I now go, pacing myself, paying a closer attention to details I missed in the past, or questioning some assumptions I made myself, or let others convince me to them. Unsure whether it came with age, deceptions, scratches of ego or painful lessons, I intentionally slow down and it is rather pleasant. And not only for me, because that would be pure egocentricity, and I personally get to feel joyous from others’ well being, especially when we can share a moment, a conversation or a smile together.

One of my recent adventures took me through an area of London I was unfamiliar with, off to a show. Busy underground rides, even on a Sunday night, and no bottleneck of crowd flow to report… until I saw this woman, bent over, holding onto the wall not to fall. Some commuters slow down, because they physically had to, glanced at her while walking around her to reach the escalator out. I asked what had happened and how she was feeling: “sudden back seizure, cannot stand up.” Oh… been there, done that: “let me help you through some breathing and stretching, and see how you feel.”

I spent less than 15 minutes, holding her hands, going up and down with her, bending our knees together, suggesting some basic moves to get her spine back to a straight position. In the mean time, a safety agent had arrived, and answered “OMG!” to her situation. [Note for later: compassion is welcome, sounding desperate towards someone who is hurt is only useless and rarely uplifting.] He kept chewing his gum while the woman was following my now-instructions: he canceled the ambulance and gave me the thumbs up as she could finally walk straight again.

I am not a doctor, I just happen to know about back spasms, and to have been there at that very time she needed some attention. I even managed to be a few minutes early at the show (having this habit to build some buffer time wherever I go: to forget about the pressure and sometimes smell the roses on my way). Now I just need to refine my patience skills, and balance things out when they flirt too much with a potential boredom. It is not about entertainment of the mind: if age is a factor, then I see it as a stimulation exercise. Still tackling one thing after the other, managing the gap between the two.