Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And a rush came over the room . . .

Go, go, go.

It seems as a society we simply cannot slow down.

Rush here, rush there.
Do this, do that.

Frankly, I’m quite tired of all the rush.
Truthfully, I just can’t keep up.
I have to move at a much slower pace than the rest of this hurried world. Simply so I can do just one thing which is


Rushing here, rushing there takes my breath away.
It makes me frustrated.
It makes me nervous.

Take for instance a recent shopping trip to a well-known discount department store. Now I ordinarily do not spend too much time shopping at big stores or malls anymore because it usually is just too exhausting for me. But on Monday I had nearly two hours to kill while my daughter was at a birthday party nearby, and my son had some money burning a hole in his Thomas the Tank Engine wallet so off we went.

Luckily, I walked about the store at my own almost turtle-like pace. Then, I rested while my son checked out all the toys.

It is at the check-out where I felt that I just wasn’t cutting it in the sport of discount department store shopping - as in a “hurry up lady, you’re not moving fast enough for us” way.

First, the not-so-friendly cashier seemed miffed that I wanted my son to pay for his items with cash, and then I would pay for mine with credit. I guess that would have slowed her down in the Olympic event known as discount department store cashier cross.

Next, she waited impatiently as I tried to dig some change out of the child-sized Thomas wallet. This is not an easy feat for a person like me who sometimes has trouble using my fingers to do simple tasks like opening a jar, buttoning children’s clothing, or pulling apart tiny Lego pieces.

Then, before I could even gather up my bags and put my credit card away, the cashier was moving on to the next customer who had not so graciously placed her eco-friendly shopping bags on top of my stuff. Not that I have anything against eco-friendly shopping bags. We use them from time to time as well. I just didn’t want those bags on top of my stuff, or in my space, urging me to hurry up and move on already.

Now, like the not-so-friendly cashier, I was miffed. I even mumbled something to the cashier and the eco-friendly shopping bag lady as in, “Can you give me a minute to finish? I even accidentally knocked one of her bags off the counter when I gathered up my stuff. (I swear it was an accident) But both the cashier and pushy bag lady didn’t seem to care. They both just looked at me like I was crazy. As in a “hurry up lady, you’re not moving fast enough for us” way.

I have seen that look before. It happened one time when a fast-paced couple nearly plowed me over while I was walking s l o w l y while wearing my portable oxygen on my way out of the hospital after pulmonary rehab. On that day, I did not mumble. I said loudly, “You don’t have to walk right on top of me!” I am in a hospital. I am wearing oxygen, for goodness sake. Slow down. I don’t even recall if they said they were sorry. They just went on their merry, hurried way.

The frantic pace of the outside world is not only to blame for my dislike of all things fast. Many times, I feel rushed in my own home or with my own family. Hurry, get breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the table. Hurry, get the kids out the door or they will miss the bus. Hurry, sign this paper, make a phone call, fold the laundry, check this math paper. Hurry, get in the car so we won’t be late.

Hurry, hurry, hurry.

Sometimes my family needs a lesson in taking a less-than-lightening pace. I remind my kids that they need to slow down because mommy can’t move so fast. I remind my impatient husband that dinner won’t be for awhile yet as he paces about the kitchen. I remind my 70-year-old mother to stop walking so fast when we are together.

Sometimes even me, myself, and I forget that we can’t keep up with this lickety-split world. I have to remind myself to slow down, to stop, to relax, and to take a deep breath. I have to give myself at least one hour to get ready in the morning, instead of just 45 minutes or less. I have to remind myself to do one or two things at a time, not three, four, or more. I have to rest if I need to rest.

Rest, Rest, Rest.

Slow down, slow down, slow down.


Ahhhhhhh . . . that’s more like it.

1 comment:

  1. It bugs me when someone stands too close in a checkout line. They think they have to squeeze up against people to get the line to move faster. I once yelled at a woman, "Could you back up?!" She already had all of her junk laid out and I didn't have any room to sign the receipt.

    So, take your time Suzanne. These people are not on their way to anywhere important.