Singer Jimmy Buffet once said, “I think that we ought to declare a universal ‘Ten-Deep-Breaths Day’ so that the whole world could stop and everybody just catch their breath.” Breathless describes a lot of us, doesn’t it? Running hard and fast to catch up and, we hope, to get ahead. We jam our calendars or overload our PDAs with more and more meetings and appointments. We try to do more than we can ever actually do and feel frustrated by our failure to get it all done. Why are we like this? Where did this hurry sickness come from?

In part, the breathlessness comes from our having lost track of what’s important: it’s nearly impossible to set and honor limits if we don’t have a clear sense of what matters to us, because, without such clarity, there’s no basis for deciding which things deserve our investment of time and energy and in what proportion.

We’re headed into the Memorial Day weekend. Maybe at least one of these days could be for us a “Ten-Deep-Breaths Day”–a day to stop, to ponder what matters, to refocus our priorities, and to breathe, just breathe.