The Price You Pay For Being in A Rush

“C’mon Mason,” I say, over and over and over again as I’m walking down the city streets of NYC, encouraging my four year old son to ‘hurry up’ so we can make the train, so we can pick up his sister at her after-school program, so we can then meet the sitter who brings his other sister home.

“C’mon Mason.” I say over and over and over again as I lovingly try to pull him along, up and down the subway steps, as I check to see what time it is and am thinking about where I need to be next.

I take a deep breath and question if there might be an easier way to manage all this.

Another deep breath and instantly I know how to remedy this.

The easier way is not to rush.

What am I really rushing for anyway? When I take this question seriously it becomes pretty clear that the rushing is most certainly self-imposed. So really, what is this all about? Why am I pulling him along and making him rush?

More importantly, what’s the trade-off of being in rush, of wishing I were 10 steps ahead?

As I’m sharing this story with you and re-living the moment in my head, I’m finding myself starting to tear up. Because the moment will come in the blink of an eye when this little boy will no longer need me to pick him up, when we’ll no longer walk home from school together hand in hand.

The day will come when he’ll be the one in a rush; to be with his friends, to do ‘his’ thing, to spend his time somewhere else.

In asking myself to get serious about why I’m really in a rush, I’m able to help myself get clear about what matters most.

Whether you’re a mom or not, makes no difference; the concept is the same. When there’s a lot on your plate, when you’re passionate and driven and there’s a burning desire to accomplish big stuff, it’s so damn easy and kind of seductive to find ourselves in a rush.

Rushing helps us feel important, we get to call ourselves ‘productive’ and feel good about all the stuff we crossed off our list.

But what if a lot of that ‘stuff’ never really mattered to us?

What if all that stuff becomes part of the reason we missed out?

Today, my little boy wants to hold my hand and walk slow. He wants to tell me all about school and ask a million questions and share his snack with me on our subway ride home.

And had I missed out on this precious gift; well then….I would have really missed out.

There will be days when I need to rush, but not today. And certainly not everyday. I refuse to allow my default setting be one of being in a rush.

The cost of rushing is far too great. It’s not a price I’m willing to pay. I’d much rather be a little late for the sitter (which I wasn’t) than have my son feel like we were always in a rush.

I know you’ve got a lot to do, great things to accomplish, and a ton of stuff on your plate, but some of that stuff you’re speeding around to do, might be taking you further away from a life that holds real meaning for you.

Here’s an extra little nugget of truth: when you’re in a solid practice of loving yourself and your life as it is, right now, no matter what goals have yet to be realized, there’s no longer a reason to rush.

That’s it for today. I’m rushing off to get my son from school. Ha! I kid.

xx Lori Fields, LCSW