When I am focused on getting things done, I like to walk quickly. I feel like I am walking with purpose, and I am heading to do great things. I don't have time to stop and smell the roses. I need to check things off THE LIST. If a list is electronic, paper or both, it has a way of making its presence known.
I like to show my list that I mean business by rushing as much as possible. If I can shave off 30 seconds walking around the house to put things away and then shave a few minutes off my trip to the grocery store by speed walking, those extra minutes will really add up, right? Think of all the time I'm getting back in my day.
I don't think the side effects of rushing justify the need to always go faster. If I am trying to rush through a project to get back to my baby, I am missing time with her and also likely doing an incomplete job on the project. When we rush, we don't see the full picture. We see the flowers, but we don't see the intricate details of the petals. We wave to friends and neighbors, but we don't have time for a chat.
When I'm rushing, my body is in the heightened fight or flight state. I am not calm, happy and collected. I feel like my task list is physically chasing me, and the only thing I can do to out run it is to do everything faster. Why should I carefully read the recipe, when I can slap the dish together in half the time?
I'm realizing that rushing may be an illusion for me. It feels like the solution, but it is actually the problem. It leads to more stress in my life, and it doesn't lead to excellent outcomes. If I try to rush anything with my little one, like feeding or playtime, I miss out on amazing moments. I find it almost impossible to rush and do my best. They seem to fight against each other.
I'm beginning to realize that dreams, laughter, hope and moments that become memories may live in the spaces between the next task or gathering. If I am constantly rushing between items on my calendar, I will likely miss the best times that form when my heart rate slows down, and endorphins increase.
Rushing around is not something you can quit cold turkey, but you can pick one thing to try and then add another. You can promise yourself that you will leave early for X, so you can enjoy the drive and not stress and rush. Or, you can make it a priority to go to bed early tonight, so you can slowly fall asleep and not beat yourself up for not getting enough rest. My favorite option is not rushing yourself as you work through an emotional issue. Give yourself the space and latitude to breath.
If rushing is your go to, remember you are in control of your tasks. You can give them your full attention, and you can walk away from them when you need to recharge. You cannot rush to find peace, but if you slow down it may find you sooner than you think.
This is one of my favorite memories of slowing down, cappuccino on the terrace in Amalfi, Italy.