16 May Slow It Down
I STOOD BENEATH the statue at the Praia do Torel, a tucked away pool in the heart of Lisbon, and felt the water rushing through my hands.
I studied the statue, noticing how strange, how cool it is.
I think it’s a mermaid riding a fish while fending off a snake — I didn’t notice until I got up close, until I got in the water, until I cared enough to look.
My day went much like this — taking things slow and appreciating life around me.
And this, this way of living, it makes me truly happy; the peace of this Lisbon oasis made me so grateful to be alive.
To be where I am in this vibrant city, creating new relationships every day with other human beings.
They have their own problems, their own stories, their own dreams — yet here we are, finding our way together.
That makes it all worthwhile.
There’s no lifeguard at the Praia do Torel, no fee to enter, really nothing at all that would tell you it’s a pool.
That’s the vibe of Lisbon which I love.
You stumble upon these sorts of things that cost nothing to enjoy — viewpoints that take your breath away; Thursday night DJ sets on the river; dance circles in the middle of the Avenida da Liberdade where anyone is free to join.
Street fairs, flea markets, pop up sausage and sangria stands — it’s rather nonstop, and I love it.
This city makes you slow down.
It makes you stop, look around, and talk to the people that surround you.
Being here makes you realize how beautiful the world can be.
Time goes by so quickly; the individual steps we take go unnoticed when we’re focused on the next best thing, the finish line, what we need to get done to be productive, successful, worthwhile, in nobody else’s eyes but our own.
Of course we can’t spend every day hanging out in a fountain.
We must work, do things, keep up. However, perhaps it’s a mindset shift.
Slow it down.
The work, the moving, the pursuit.
Cherish this gift we’ve been given.
Enjoy your life; have fun with the work you’re doing, even if it’s not your end goal.
Meet up with friends on a Thursday.
Let your imagination run.
Talk to people you have no reason talking to.
Say what’s on your mind.
Wear what makes you happy.
Be a curious kid again.
Lisbon, this city makes me wonder about what I truly want. What I actually need.
Why there’s a pressure to always be doing. I’m realizing that there doesn’t need to be.
What sort of life might truly make you happy? What do you genuinely want to be doing with your time?
Aim at something, a dream, your mission, the life you long to live — perhaps your aim is to help another soul get through a difficult season.
But take the pressure off.
Enjoy the pursuit, the journey, the individual steps. Savor the conversations.
Let yourself do nothing every once in a while.
Enjoy your life.
Slow it down. Cherish it.