Quickly, before I go

I wash dishes at breakneck speed, only rarely breaking them.  And I hardly ever cut myself on knives as I swish the sponge over the blade.

When I walk, it’s as if I’m competing for first place.  My kids trail behind me like ducklings.

I read fast.  I type fast.  I drive fast though I haven’t been ticketed for twenty years.

I make snap judgments.  I decide quickly–once I have all the facts.  I watch television after it’s been recorded so I can fast-forward through the commercials.

I’m not sure why I’ve always been in such a hurry, but even back when I was nine I was proud of the fact that I was the fastest girl runner in the fourth grade. I finished my tests first.  I learned my multiplication facts before everyone else in my third grade class.

Traffic lights turn green and my foot is already pressing the gas pedal.  Let’s go!  I’m a toe-tapping, finger-drumming, heavy sigher.  I just can’t quite understand why everyone else is moving so slowly.  Come on, I think.  Let’s GO!

And then yesterday, as I was rushing from somewhere to somewhere else, I had a fleeting thought.  (My thoughts, they flee sometimes, like they’re being chased.)

I thought how aggravating it must be for my kids to have a mom whose default speed is 80 MPH when they are happy to tootle along at 25 MPH.  And I thought that maybe it would be a relief to me to just acknowledge that some people are meant to move along at a less frantic pace.

Some people are meant to linger, to loiter, to meander.

Some people want to take the circuitous route for whatever nonsensical reason.  (I always figure out the fastest route, don’t you?)  It’s not a race.

So I’m going to try to stop judging the slowpokes among us.  I’m going to try to stop yelling at those cars that drive like there’s a Department of Motor Vehicles evaluator in the passenger seat.  I’m going to try to stop sighing at people who just get in my way with their unhurried, impossibly leisurely dawdling.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to run upstairs to sleep really fast so I can get a million things done tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Quickly, before I go

  1. I used to be like you, always in doing things quickly. Rushing through life, rushing my kids, finishing one project, on to the next. Then one day, it hit me, in all my rushing through life, I was missing so much of life. Time was going faster and my kids were grown up in the blink of an eye. Where were those little ones that I had rushed to their schools and sports, always worried about them being late? These days, I make a conscious effort to slow down. Now I have a 19 month old grandson and when ever I can, I take life at his pace. I find that I’m missing much less of life these days.


  2. Oops. I would REALLY annoy you these days. I walk VERY slowly; get up from a chair VERY slowly and then stand perfectly still for a few moments before shuffling off across the room. My son, seeing all this over and over again, asked why, if the new hip had really helped. My answer was, that yes; the hip replacement pain is gone. But in it’s place, is more pain. Pain from arthritis in the other hip and both knees; degenerative disk disease in my back, plus curvature of the spine. So, slow is my gait these days.

    Sometimes I watch others, and imagine/think that I can jump or run or at least go quickly. Wrong. I cannot. (except when I am behind the wheel of the car – I have a lead foot then.) But, I realize it takes time to look at clouds or pictures or just sit and sort through my memories. So, while “hurry up” is not always wrong, neither is “slow down”. My wish for you is that you are happy with whatever speed you have for living your life. Just continue to enjoy looking at the sunsets and enjoy those waves as they come crashing to shore. Sometimes they rush – sometimes they slowly come in. Just enjoy all the moments.


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