It’s sometimes a bit baffling to me how our memories work, until a seemingly arbitrary memory hits me like a ton of bricks.
“Don’t change this song. I like it,” I said. Alabama’s “I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)” was playing I was seven or eight, and listening from the backseat. My mom and brother were in the front. My mom has never really liked country music and she wasn’t particularly thrilled about Alabama that night. Somehow I won, and they didn’t change the channel. I enjoyed my song all the way home. A song about being in such a hurry a person is forgetting to live. But as a kid, I loved it.
I tell this story fairly often, mostly because I’m sometimes told I’m a bit quirky and this illustrates that pretty well. But it also explains my personality pretty well – I’m constantly trying to find way to fit more things in my schedule and worrying about not getting it all done.
I’ve been in a hurry as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be older – I wanted a car and a job, then my own responsibilities and bills. After that, I craved adventure and the freedom of making my own decisions. Lately I often wonder when I get to have my own family and a stable job that I enjoy. I don’t ever feel like I’m particularly unhappy with what I have, I’m just excited about what’s next. Patience has never quite been my strength.
I thought about that story this afternoon while I did chores around the house. I started to feel anxious around five o’clock when I hadn’t started making dinner yet, clothes were still in the washing machine and I wondered whether I should make cookies – something I enjoy – because what if that meant I didn’t clean the bathroom counter or vacuum the ceiling fan. I suppose this sounds fairly arbitrary, and I suppose it all was, but it was a very real level of anxious. I began to mentally plan out the next five hours of my day – what needed to be done and the multitasking I would need to do so I could cross each item off my mental checklist for the day.
And then it hit me – or I could slow down and do the things I wanted. I could enjoy my afternoon. I could bake cookies and go on a longer walk with the dog and not frantically be scrubbing the bathtub while planning how to fold laundry and clean the bathroom mirror at the same time so I wouldn’t run out of time and not fit it all in.
So I did that. And I left some things unchecked. I still feel anxious about it, but the dog got to go a long walk and I ate cookies before and after dinner. The bathroom isn’t spotless and my closet isn’t organized. But the after- sunset sky looked amazing during our walk. I didn’t get any work done this weekend. But my soul feels ready for a Monday.
And I’m working in slowing down – and feeling okay about if.