The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up – by Rachel Macy Stafford

Kindness Blog

The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up - by Rachel Macy Stafford When you’re living a distracted life, every minute must be accounted for. You feel like you must be checking something off the list, staring at a screen, or rushing off to the next destination. And no matter how many ways you divide your time and attention, no matter how many duties you try and multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day to ever catch up.

That was my life for two frantic years. My thoughts and actions were controlled by electronic notifications, ring tones, and jam-packed agendas. And although every fiber of my inner drill sergeant wanted to be on time to every activity on my overcommitted schedule, I wasn’t.

You see, six years ago I was blessed with a laid-back, carefree, stop-and-smell-the roses type of child.

When I needed to be out the door, she was taking her sweet time picking out a purse and a glittery crown.

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  1. Loved this article. My 91 year old mother always retells the story of her upbringing and the constant message from her mother to “hurry up”, and that she was bit of thorn for her mother because she was “as slow as molasses in January” . My mother simply said to us that she never let those words affect her; she got things done but did things in her own time, never rushing, or fretting. Consequently she never rushed us or told us to hurry up. It’s a character trait she maintained all her life and still does and she is the more radiant for it.


  2. Sometimes I have to check in with myself and ask: why do I want my 8 year old to hurry up here? Last night we were supposed to be biking home to get to bed and he discovered a frog on the cycle path. He wanted to stop to rescue it, which I thought was great idea of course. But then he wanted to find insects and grubs for it to eat. Internally I knew we should be heading home but I could see he was passionate about trying to help this frog (and possibly stay out a bit later!) So I went with it. I could tell that on another day I might have started to rush him along.. if I hadn’t made myself aware that being a bit late true;y was not the end of the world. And look at what he was gaining! He was enjoying himself, communing with the natural world and I think we both learned a bit more about compassion & helping as we watched and chatted about what frogs eat, looked under tree bark for poor frog-food grubs and enjoyed the frogs bouncing on the kind of dark evening he rarely gets to be a part of.


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