For those of us who have kids, we probably use the words “hurry up” more times than we can recall. This morning and this evening, I’ve probably used it ten times at least… and that’s even during my attempt to NOT to use it. Let’s face it, we live in the American culture where we have clocks every where, we measure distance in time, we seek instant gratification, and we honk our horns at the person in front of us the second the light turns green… well, I don’t… I think it’s rude and if you’re behind me and you honk the minute the light turns green then I’ll probably take my sweet time. 🙂
We operate on autopilot doing things without recollection and we multi-task to be more efficient with the “little time” we do have. What happened to embracing moments and being aware of what we are doing? When you (hopefully) brushed your teeth this morning, did you recall brushing each tooth – or did you hum a tune in your head or contemplate your tasks at work and next thing you know you were done? If you are like me, you did anything but pay attention to actually brushing your teeth… I know, that an extreme example.
I’ve attempted to practice being more aware and it sticks so long as I am not overwhelmed or stressed. One thing I’ve noticed when I am more aware is beauty, scent (that’s a big one), acts of kindness, things that weren’t there before and most importantly I notice that I feel less stress.
I read the most amazing paragraph out of a book last night, which I connected with immensely, about hurrying about in our lives and hurrying our children. I have never noticed how slow my daughter walks, or puts on her shoes, or climbs into the car until I am running late. It’s like time immediately moves in slow motion so that you can take in every. single. slow. moment. that. is. making. you. even. more. LATE. Right? But one point that this paragraph made was that children are so immune to time – they have no real concept of it – they’re taking in each moment as it comes and embracing it. Wouldn’t you give a limb to be able to experience that kind of calm and nonchalant for one day?
I will never forget when I first started doing the whole “single mom” thing. I was late for work. Still new on the job. I lived 30 minutes from work. My daughter (Summer) was just freshly two years old. We (I) was late for work. I lived on the third floor so I had to carry her and all of my things down three flights of stairs. I finally reach the ground floor and set her down and I’m halfway to my car when I notice she is still by the stairs smelling (literally) the flowers and picking them from the bush. I felt my blood boiling… the nerve… until she looked at me with this big smile and said, “mommy, I’m picking flowers for you”. She had no idea I was late or even what that meant. She knew she loved me. She knew she stumbled across something beautiful. And she wanted to share it with me. Mean ol’ late-to-work mama.
I’m positive that I can narrow it to that day – the day I stopped rushing myself and my daughter and started embracing the fact that one day I will get the hang of it but until then I had better cherish life, smell the roses, and be in the moment. And lucky for me, my bosses are kind and fair. I was happier for it. My days were easier. I was more motivated. I was less stressed.
Truth be told, I’ve been rushing around lately, hurrying Summer and myself. I’ve been multi-tasking, I’ve been on autopilot. I’ve even used my cell phone while at dinner with Summer (shameful). I needed to read that article to remind me to slow down.
We need to connect more with the present moment. Embrace it. We need to walk at a slower pace. Respond after thinking. Let things marinate. And just sloowww down so we don’t miss and take for granted the little things that happen when we give ourselves fully to a moment, task, conversation, or relationship.
I don’t own an alarm clock. I haven’t since about 2005. I never wear a watch on the weekends. I’ve gotten much better at leaving my phone on a counter somewhere. And I feel less judged by the hour, minute, even second hand on the clock. I’m quite often a few minutes late to everything but when I’m there, you’ve got my full attention.
Hell, I might even show up with a freshly picked rose.