I have expended a considerable amount of effort and energy in my adult life hurrying up to wait.
I hurry up to get to the airport to sit uncomfortably for hours. I can't count the days I hurried up to get out the door to work and drop the kids off to school and daycare just to sit in traffic. I used to hurry to be on time to meetings just to wait for everyone else to show up. I hurry my son out the door to soccer practice and games just to wait for the coach to get there - we inevitably forget something (because we were in a hurry getting out the door) and have to hurry home to get it.
My husband is the opposite. He travels a few times a year to places most of us will never see - places where there isn't a flight every two hours from the U.S. and there are no direct flights from our city. About this time last year, he was planning a trip to somewhere in Africa. I think it was Uganda, but it may have been Mali. Either way, he had a series of layovers. If he missed one connection, he would be stranded for days, and the return trip would be postponed.
The idea of him missing his flight and extending his trip was enough to instantly give me stomach ulcers. It didn't bother him at all. As usual, he started packing his bags three hours before the flight was supposed to leave - when I would have left for the airport. When I expressed my concern about this, he said, "There will be another flight eventually."
He ended up walking out to his car barely an hour before his flight was supposed to take off. We are a full 45 minutes from an airport. And he had to long-term park. I started losing it. He kept talking while casually putting his things in the car. He realized he hadn't given each of us enough hugs and kisses. I screamed at him, "GET OUT OF HERE!! GO! GO! GET OUT! OH MY GOD! LEAVE NOW!!"
He did. The neighbors were watching. One commented, "Wow, you really wanted him to leave." Then it hit me that they all thought I was throwing him out. "No, no," I said. "He's going to miss his flight." The response: "There will be another one." My response: "To Uganda?" Neighbor: "Oh."
The thing is I think there should be middle ground between my husband's laid back, pack-at-the-last-second style and my hurried, anxious way of handling things. We should meet in the middle. He should hurry up a little, and I should slow down.
I did slow down. It didn't happen last year - it happened just a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it's from all this writing I've been doing. I have felt really happy lately - a calm, contented, satisfied happy that wasn't Prozac-induced. I like my life right now. Basically, it's good. I no longer feel that frantic push to hurry up for other people.
Today, right now, I don't really think it matters that much if we are on time to soccer practice or if we make it to the movie theater before the previews start. We can just be that family, the one that is late but always shows up eventually. I think it's the best we can do right now, and I'm OK with that.
By the way, I am having fun with this alphabet challenge - much more than I expected. Thanks to everyone that has stopped by. I am sorry to not comply with the advice from the initiators of this to keep it short. We are writers - we write from our hearts. Sometimes that takes extra words.