When I was in high school, I drove a giant blue Grand Marquis Mercury. I was always in a hurry to get everywhere and was constantly smashing into things as I drove. Light poles, curbs, other cars: it didn’t matter as long as I got where I needed to go. Quickly. At the end of my senior year, friends in my car had to hold on for dear life because the door hinges had come undone from all of my accidents.
Cut to 2012 and the car has changed (giant purple Honda minivan); but the need to rush has not.
But now, as an adult, the type of accidents have changed. Rear ending; in parking lots of schools, the gym, kids gymnastic centers or rehearsals, and yes, once in my very own driveway (long story, but let’s just say it was TOTALLY my neighbor’s fault).
Most of these accidents involves two parents or professionals in a rush to get out of their spot as soon as possible. No one takes their time these days. No one looks behind anymore, we are so focused on what’s ahead. Everyone (including me) is in such a huge hurry.
I am happy when I’m busy. I do not rest. And this is not a good thing. I was president of my sorority rush-I wrote my own songs and skits and made 100 rush dresses for the girls for fun during my summer break. I worked 4 different jobs in law school and tried all sorts of different internships. I have never stopped working, ever; even when I was on maternity leave with my second child, I decided to start a stationery company (called, What A Card! clever, I know) I chaired galas for several theaters in town and host every single holiday at my house. (I draw the line, however, at being room parent. I have no patience to collect all that money and deal with all of those parents.)
Even the ladies who work at my nail salon mutter to each other in Vietnamese about how I am always in a rush (no!! i don’t have time for sea salt!!!)
As I am here sailing the high seas with my family and extended family, I have nowhere I need to be. No internet to use, no texts to respond to, no laundry to fold or dishes to do. It’s just…nothing. I don’t have a choice. And…it’s fine. I can focus on my family in a way I can’t at home.
When I hit the road with Sam, I will be sitting for hours on buses and on planes..with nothing urgent to do. I hope I survive without forming some sort of corporation while on the road. Or maybe I’ll just do what I’m doing now: listening to my kids talk, completely focused on them. Hearing stories they may have told me before, but this time in a brand new way.
I think slowing down is good for me. I just have to find more time to do it.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.