Getting out of the fast lane

September 1, 2011

“I used to drive in the fast lane. Then I pulled over.”

I saw this quote in a store today. My daughter and I chuckled over the image. As we walked out of the store and down the street, I realized the depth of the quote’s meaning.

My daughter and I were looking for specific shoes that she needed for her college theatre program. She had looked up the store’s address on the Internet. When we got to that location, we found out the store had moved just a few blocks away. Instead of driving, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk.

After leaving the store, we walked back to the car. I turned the quote over in my mind. As we strolled along the quiet street, we saw unique shops tucked away amongst the houses. One, in particular, I found amazing. It was a store that sold ceramic art pieces. The large overhead door was open, and we could see into the showroom area. The ceramic pieces were quite large. I found it very interesting that such a store would exist in a quiet residential neighbourhood, tucked away off the beaten track.

I guess they decided that being in the fast lane wasn’t worth it. And they had “pulled over.”

As I was able to notice this store, and the other scattered businesses, I was thankful we had decided to walk. I would not have noticed any of these businesses had we driven the car around the block. Some of the businesses I saw were such that I would not even know would exist. I had no reason for their use. Obviously, though, someone did. They existed and appeared to be doing well.

By stepping out of my ordinary existence, I was able to experience another aspect of life that was out of my realm of consciousness. It certainly helped that my daughter was entering a theatre program. This required that she purchase specific shoes. When I entered college, I spent the week before classes began purchasing textbooks. But not for my daughter’s program. Instead, we shopped for shoes.

It was fortunate that I had decided to spend the day with my daughter, helping her to prepare for her move to college. I could easily have been at home, working on my contracts. She certainly was old enough, and independent enough, to go shoe shopping without me. I was glad to have the chance to accompany her. And, because of the requirement of her program, I was strolling down a part of the city I had never been to before.

I’m glad that for today at least, I had decided to “pull over” and step out of the fast lane. It was an enjoyable stroll that resulted in an awakening within me.

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