Your Life: Summed Up

October 9, 2012

The average American spends nine years of his life watching television and two million commercials. Only two weeks of his life is spent kissing another person. Imagine if those numbers were reversed (and probably are in some countries!).

The average Joe spends 4,050 hours at a standstill in traffic (that is the equivalent of 506 nights of sleep), 4,320 hours at traffic lights, 5,365 hours talking on the phone and 122,400 hours working. He will have walked 35,000 miles in a lifetime, which is equal to walking from Paris to Shanghai and back ~ twice. At the same time, he will drive 798,000 miles: That’s 3.5 times to the moon and back.

If you look at these staggering statistics, it makes you realize how much of our time is spent with machines, not Nature or even each other. It makes me want to hug a tree and remember that we are all connected to everything: Not just through Facebook, but through our ultimate purpose in life, which is to love each other with all our might.

How will you spend your day today?

Life Summed Up

Time Bandits

July 30, 2009

Yesterday I managed thirteen extras during a film shoot on a moving train going 100 miles an hour. It wasn’t exactly a slow experience, except that making a movie, even if it’s only five minutes long, takes more time than you think.

They shot the scene in the first class section of Germany’s fastest moving train, the ICE. I was responsible for keeping all the extras together as we icemoved from one train station to the next. They called me their ‘room mother’, a term I viewed with a splash of humor and astonishment (I’ve been told on several occasions that I exude a certain matronly authority when carrying a clipboard…). Nonetheless, we completed the shoot by 2 pm, only we had to get back to Munich from Stuttgart, which took another three hours. By the time I got home, it was 6 pm.

Instead of being irritated that the travel time home took longer than the actual shoot, I decided to get friendly with a few of the extras who had been in the scene. I also made friends with someone in the next train on the way home to my car. It turns out we have some mutual acquaintances, making the ride a bit more small-worldish.

Time is what you make of it ~ at any speed!

We just returned from an all-day outing to Starnberg Lake in the south of Munich. Yesterday evening we tried to plan it, but somehow our minds were fogged after another day of sight-seeing and entertaining. I decided to leave it up to the power of slow to allow the next day to unfold.

And unfold it did.

starnberger seeAfter taking a one-hour train ride, we boarded a ferry that took us to another town, Tutzing. We meandered about, gravitating towards the large church in the center of town where we met a nice man who told us we should go to a lovely restaurant right on the lake.

It turned out to be the best meal we’ve had yet. Adorning the walls are pictures of the owner and famous people such as Jay Leno or Seal. We marveled at how things seemed to reveal themselves magically without our even trying.  We found the train station by intuiting where it was (under the protest of some of the people in my party). “I see a train,” I calmly said. “But where’s the train station?” I heard a voice behind me say.

It is there, right where it should be.

And so it was!