orange fruit



For most of my 20’s and early 20’s, I had a relatively fast-paced life. I lived in a handful of major US cities, traveled frequently and spent my time soaking in a variety of people, places and cultures that were different than the rest. Those times were an education, although not the kind you’d get by going to a traditional university.

Now that I’m older, I appreciate something now that I didn’t think would ever feel normal; peace and quiet, nights spent indoors or time to pursue hobbies. Being older, I now have to be conscious that my body wasn’t built to last forever, and it will quickly fall apart of I don’t take care of it. That was a lesson I learned the hard way, which took me several months to recover from.

In the movie About a Boy, the main character talks about his days as measures of time; each activity was broken up into a given number of minutes. When I look at my life, i see a similar pattern.

This afternoon, while taking my new dog (Rocky) to the groomer, I calculated the amount of time I would have between drop-off and pick-up, and decided there was enough space to make it to the skate park, handle several client calls and knock out a few tasks that were running late. Like clockwork, I knocked it all out just as my phone rang announcing it was ready to pick up Rocky, who was the talk of the grooming shop when I arrived; they loved him.

I said I would never get a dog again, but as with many things – I had to eat my words. In some ways, this little town of Lewisville feels like it has extended to my front steps and is now my domain for regular walks, trips to the coffeeshop and unexpected conversations with people I pass on the street.

I think a lot of life depends on how you see it. Being a single parent, for example, can easily feel like a prison. On the other hand, the best gift it’s given me is the opportunity to have forced blocks of time where I have to get things done, take care of myself and keep my home in order. As a result, I now enjoy my life much more than the years where I was perpetually chasing [my] tail and jumping to the next exciting thing that caught my short attention span.

A lot of your life is spent by yourself, whether you like it or not. The more time i spent by myself, the more I realize just how incredible it feels to make peace with the solitude instead of feeling like it’s somehow a problem. Ultimately, I think that you can be more at peace with somebody else if you’ve learned how to be at peace with yourself first – and truly find a home within that presence.

When my Dad was younger, he took an architecture class in college. During one of the final exams, which was known to be incredibly difficult, he did something that taught me an incredible lesson. Once the processor announced it was time to begin the test, everybody scrambled and rushed to start as quickly as possible.

Not my Dad.

In the middle of the classroom, he pulled and orange out of his bag, peeled and ate it before calmly picking up his pencil to start the test.

People looked at him like he was crazy (and I imagine the smell of the orange drove them nuts) as he finished his snack.

My Dad was the first one who finished and he got the highest score in the entire room. Afterwards, the professor asked him why he ate the orange.

“Because I needed to think.” He responded.

There’s a lot of wisdom you can pull from this lesson. Instead of rushing into something, the moments you take to think about your next steps are the moments that help you make your shot, launch a successful business venture, find the right life partner or even how to plot out a productive day that you can fall asleep to with a feeling of accomplishment.

I’ve been guilty of rushing and then wondering why something didn’t work. Now, I understand the importance of eating – or juicing – and orange.

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