Don't Rush Me

I'd been making a conscious effort to slow down and not act as though we were always in a hurry every time we went anywhere or did anything.

I read this post back in March, and honestly it's what all started this pondering and self-evaluation.

I really felt like I was doing "better" and this particular day we were getting in the car I hadn't said anything at all about hurrying, etc. But we WERE late and my mind was definitely saying it, and she felt it. 

Kids are incredibly intuitive that way.

As I buckled her in, she said "Mommy, don't RUSH me!"  I stifled a laugh at how old she sounded and then thought, "where on earth did she hear that??!" (I've two guesses and they are both me. )

Whether or not I was being impatient with her, I felt hurried and it showed and I took a deep breath, apologized and made an attempt to RELAX. It was only a playdate after all, and as it was not a playdate where a child was choking and I was the only one who knew how to administer the Heimlech Maneuver, it's safe to say it didn't really matter if we were a few minutes late.

Why does it matter? Aren't all human beings destined to rush every day for the rest of their lives and that's just how we do things and we might as well all get used to being in a hurry until the day we die? What's the problem?

Because we miss so much when we rush.
We miss the look in their eyes when we're too busy to look into them when they tell us something.
We miss the quiet, peaceful moments (or the loud chaotic beauty!) in the car when we are anxiously watching the clock and wondering if we will make it on time.
We miss the bath tub confessional when we hurriedly baptize them with a swish of soap and water in hopes for a timely bed time. (After all, we are exhausted.)

Ann Voskamp, who said it so well said,
"In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives." and then "The hurry makes us hurt." (Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts. Pg 66.)

And that is so true. Just thinking about it, I realize, when I rush for no good reason, I DO hurt others. I hurt myself. I hurt my daughters.  I catch tangles in painful snarls in a too-quickly moving hairbrush. I catch little legs in seatbelts buckled in rapid closing. I slam sweet fingers in doors closed behind my retreating self. Sure, all accidental, but if I would SLOW DOWN it probably wouldn't happen as often.

More importantly, when I rush and run and hurry and multi-task way too many tasks at once, I haven't the time to look into their eyes when they talk. I don't remember that they ARE my most important task when I'm constantly frustrated by the tasks they interrupt.

Why do we do this? 
Too much on our plate.
Wearing too many hats.
Not enough time.
Too many people counting on us.

But life is NOT an emergency. It's not how much time we have, because we all get the same amount. It's what we choose to do with it. Maybe we don't really need MORE time. Perhaps, we just need to eliminate some things that are eating up all the extra minutes and causing us to always have an attitude of, "AUGH! Kids! get in the CAR NOW!!! My hair's on fire and the only water is in the car!!!!!" Wait, no one else does that? Just me? Oh.

If we treat life as it is an emergency, what message are we sending to our children? What are we saying to them in our constant state of, "Not enough time! Not enough time! Not enough time!"

It's not a message that promotes being thankful in everything. We aren't teaching them the beauty of every day, we are teaching them the lack of time. We are teaching them there is never enough (time, resources, etc.) instead of that Christ is 100% enough for all our needs.

Because friend, it is awfully hard to measure each moment in gratefulness if we are merely trying to get through to the next thing.  Don't miss it.

**From someone who grew up in a family of five with two working parents, I KNOW that sometimes these things are easier said than done, especially for working moms. I'd love to hear your suggestions about how you build your day to avoid the constant rushing.


Linda said...

Yet another wonderfully written eye opener. I remember so clearly trying to rush out of the house for a women's fellowship meeting at church when Tara and Leah were little. I asked Tara to hurry and get me a diaper for Leah, who had inconveniently dirtied it just as we were about to walk out the door. She sat down in the middle of the hallway and sadly said, "Mommy, I can't hurry any faster." GUILTY!! I felt horrible and dropped everything, taking her in my arms and apologizing. Nothing was worth the way I was acting that morning...and to head to church no less! I'm sure I failed miserably many more times as a young busy mom, but reminders to do better are always helpful, and needed. Now to remember it as a Grandma...thanks!

a girl and her love said...

This is another reason why I love having you as a friend. I was actually talking about this over the weekend and how you are such a good balance for me because you help me slow down and stop and smell the roses. So, don't be too discouraged. You are an example to me, even know.

Wise words. Thanks for sharing.