About Hurrying & Quitting

I am a chronic hurrier. It is my default modus operandi in life, with my kids, through books, around struggles, over details, onto the next thing, always go go go.


Sure, stuff gets done. But I am the first to admit: hurrying isn’t my best personality trait.


There are a handful of reasons to give up hurrying. It’s not fun. It doesn’t feel good in my body. It fuels anxiety. It takes me out of the present moment by forcing me to focus on the future and the next task. I don’t want to teach my kiddos this way of being. ( <— Any time I need to get some perspective, I think about how it affects my boys. That usually does the trick.)


I was starting to notice these reasons creeping into my life more and more often. My body felt perpetually tense and tight. The hum of adrenaline that signals the beginning of anxiety would pop up in the middle of the produce section, for no apparent reason. I had to bite my tongue to avoid being snippy with my kids while I was trying to get them out the door.


The common theme? Hurrying.


And I don’t think I’m alone in this. I witness hurrying all over the place. Well-intentioned people doing business, in the thick of parenting, communicating with each other, plowing through chores, and generally doing the daily thing. We are all bustling. If we have glorified busy, then we hold hurrying up as a noble means to that end.


I want to slow down. To let things run at a slower speed than I naturally do. Hurrying is not my friend. Hurrying may not be your friend, either.

It seems positively virtuous to get shit done on time and in real time and to be on time, like we are somehow conquering time itself. But it creates real long-term suffering in the over-arching sensation of anxiety and disassociation from not only everything I’m doing, but the people I’m doing it with. It’s like I’m living in some parallel time-landscape because, sure, everything is getting done but I don’t get to participate in it. Good or bad.


Per usual, the trick with change that I would like to make in my life is that the beginning is easy. It’s fun, even! I love the novelty and good feelings of a shift on the day I make that shift. Right? It’s days 11 and 27 and 4,389 that are difficult. After the rush of newness wears off, I’m left with the real work. It’s easy to identify hurrying as an issue in my life. But it’s also a very natural tendency for me. So of course it will edge back in the moment I become unaware.


When Rob Bell interviewed Glennon Doyle Melton for his podcast, she talked about having 400 million self-care practices every day (I think, I mean, that’s how I remember it anyway). And I *love* that. I guess it could sound burdensome, perhaps, but I love the idea that I can have 400 million hoops set up for myself every single day and if I just go through those hoops, then life will feel good. Or at least I’ve set up my life to feel grounded and true and present.


For this to really take, those 400 million hoops would have to be set ablaze with awareness. I’m lighting mine up…