July 17, 2024

longer walks

a paraglider flying in the air above a tree and some power lines
photo caption: a paraglider soars beneath a canopy of clouds. well below them (hopefully) are some power lines stretching across the frame, the tips of a tree, and me. you know, i almost didn’t see them there. i just happened to be looking up.

In the last few weeks I’ve found myself craving longer walks. I have a brain that’s tuned for Lean thinking, which is an approach that says you can find the most efficient way to do anything. As such, I usually pick the shortest route to get somewhere. I plan in my head the most efficient way to make dinner. On a weekday, cooking an efficient dinner can make some sense. The faster we complete a meal, the sooner we can enjoy what’s left of our short evening. But on a weekend, an afternoon puttering in the kitchen to make a delicious meal can feel like a luxury.

It’s a symptom of white supremacy culture that we feel the need to rush to everything. Time is money, money is power, power is everything. There’s a setting to play podcasts at speeds faster than normal human speech. Some weeks I spend each day forgetting the present by thinking about tomorrow. The past couple years have felt like an endless series of, “this was the hardest week of my life. Next week will be better,” but repeated over and over until we die.

So much of our society focuses on reaching the destination, or getting to the next thing on our list. Finding time to dawdle, then, can feel like a small rebellion. I’ve decided to feed this desire to move a little slower. To savor a meal, even when we made it in 30 minutes on a weeknight. To take a little extra time to walk a different way home. I’ve decided to focus not on what’s ahead, but what right in front of me.

photo of josh martinez

my name is josh martinez. i have always loved trying to understand systems, and the systems that built those systems. i spend a lot of time thinking about how to get there from here.

i own and operate a consulting practice, Future Emergent.

say hello: josh[at]bethefuture.space