Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Sip of Serenity

At the YMCA music blasts from the upper floor, where a roomful of women flap their arms, climb on and off steppers and swing their bodies around. In the Fall everything shifts into high gear. People get into shape, start classes and plunge into their working lives with new vigor.

It’s a go-get-‘em world where everyone rushes just to keep up. Family, job, bills to pay, kids to raise… there’s hardly enough time to breathe.

Listening to the pounding on the floor above me, I sit in a small lounge at the Y and sip my orange/mango juice. After 31 years of a busy office career, I now have different priorities. Earlier today I visited an elderly aunt with bronchitis. In a few minutes I’ll catch a movie with a friend and later on I will tackle the next chapter of my novel.

Things that used to seem important now seem less so. Sharing a smile or an honest conversation has become more meaningful than making a pile of money. There’s nothing to prove and no one to impress. Tranquility and a slower pace are the new norm.

As I leave the building, a red maple leaf flutters from the sky – a graceful reminder of the changing season. Half a dozen people hurry past as it falls unnoticed to the ground.