Sprint or Savor

by Starla J. King on December 12, 2013

It was a blog post about a kid who didn’t want to hurry — and a Mom who did — and it broke my heart.

Because that kid might as well have been me, even though I’m a 45-year-old grown woman.

In the blog post [The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’], the Mom describes her “in a hurry” frustrations:

“When I needed to be out the door, she was taking her sweet time picking out a purse and a glittery crown.”  [Yep, that’s me (without the purse and crown).]

“When I needed to grab a quick lunch at Subway, she’d stop to speak to the elderly woman who looked like her grandma.” [Yep, me.]

“When I had thirty minutes to get in a run, she wanted me to stop the stroller and pet every dog we passed.” [Yep, me (without the stroller).]

“When I had a full agenda that started at 6 a.m., she asked to crack the eggs and stir them ever so gently.”  [Yep, me (I am love with a newly-learned french word: “mijoter” — to simmer or cook lovingly.).]

I usually laugh about my way in this world, teasing myself for stopping to engage with the itty-bitty experiences of my daily life, but the truth is, it often smarts when I’m pushed to hurry up.  I’m writing this blog post for those of you who just nodded.  And those who didn’t. Because we each have a different way of being in this world, and we all get to be right.

I’m not actually failing at time management, you see; I’m succeeding at stress management.

I’m not actually being lazy, you see; I’m savoring.

I’m not actually being unconcerned, lackadaisical, or out of touch with reality, you see; I’m experiencing life in my deepest, most meaningful, most productive (yes, productive) way.

I stop to experience things because my that’s where my oxygen comes from.  Too much hurrying, and it feels like a vice around my lungs.  Too much hurrying and my primary response becomes tears.  Not because I’m weak, or too sensitive (AGH!), or somehow broken, but because my most healthy operating speed is one with a little extra time and space around the edges.

Lock and leaves in morning sun

I have to pet that dog, and that one, and that one, because my heart is already feeling the soft fur and whispering sweet nothings in those velveteen ears.

I stop to hear a hidden bird sing because I *feel* the notes chirping in my ears.

I have to touch the tree bark, the flower petal, the crumbling mortar, and the chain-linked fence because my fingertips tingle as nerve endings practically reach themselves out on their own.

I stop to savor the scent of fresh-baked bread, the bit of glass on the sidewalk, the rust on the gate, and the sound of a cat’s sneeze because that’s where my next writing piece (or book) will come from, or my next business idea, or my next insight on a different way to support a client or friend or colleague, or the next indisputable reminder that I am not alone in this world.

I’m not exaggerating.  This is how I operate.  Thank God this is how I operate.  And how others of you operate. And, let’s be honest, how others of you don’t operate (because we need your approach, and yours, yours, and yours — definitely).

Rush out the door, then let the shape of a Gingko leaf bring you to a screeching halt.  

We all get to be right. 

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