Slow down

“I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all that rushing.” – Mark Buchanan

I’ve decided that this book I’m reading was written by a genius. I’m scribbling all over this book. I didn’t even make it through the whole chapter tonight because there is too much to absorb (and because I need to go to bed soon). Buchanan points out that being in a constant state of hurry leaves us disgusted with the mundane and hesitant about the future. How true. When I’m busy even the things I should love doing like taking the dog to the park, interacting with students about their online journals, and calling friends to catch up with them seem like a bother. And, if I think of something new and exciting to expand my horizons, I quickly dismiss it — sometimes without hesitation and sometimes with disappointment because it’s something I really wanted to do. However, the bottom line is there is no time to do it.

This chapter is so timely; I feel like each day this week has had at least periods within it where I’ve felt rushed, or I’ve been at one task guiltily thinking of how I should be doing something else. I think it’s the pre-semester jitters. It’s the knowledge that next week I’ll be scheduled and “tied down,” ironically enough by a job that I do like. But, this is also a sign that it’s time to prioritize. When my mom asked me tonight if the bathroom was painted so my dad can install the toilet and sink, I said no. I’ve just gone a bit crazy. I want to quilt and put family photos online and scrapbook and decorate cakes and figure out what’s on all the USB drives floating in the junk drawer and clean out the kitchen cabinets and, and, and…

Would I feel better if I just said, “I am going to quilt today. That means that the USB files will remain a mystery for now, but that is ok”? Yes, I think I would. I think I need to learn to ask the question that Buchanan says will let me know if there is too much on my plate: “How much do I care about the things I care about?” When I’m dismissive of relationships and contemplation and service it means that I am rushing past what matters. I’m creating the “what ifs?” of the future.