I read somewhere recently that when Napoleon was in a rush, he would tell his attendants to “dress me slowly for I am in a hurry!”

That’s good advice for me to remember at this time of year. I’m getting busier and busier, and time is getting more and more precious. Around this time last year, it was a beautiful day, and I wanted to hurry up and get some boats cut before I took my son to the park. And he was mad that I wanted to work at all. I turned on the bandsaw, and it was covered with wood dust so I swiped my hand over it to get rid of the mess that was irritating me. And I swiped my middle finger right into the blade.

Oh Shit! I ran upstairs for a rag to wrap it in, and ran to my neighbor’s house–my son going, what’s wrong? what’s wrong? I banged on her door and fortunately someone was home. I didn’t have a car at the time, so I showed her my finger and asked her if she would take me to the hospital. Her eyes got big and she said, “let me get my keys.”

The whole ride to the hospital, I going, “HOW could I have been so STUPID!?” Over and over again in my head. Sure it hurt, but all I could think about was how long I was going to be out of work. I went to the emergency room–a painful thing in it’s own right for someone that doesn’t have insurance. Then of course they made me wait, and I’m light headed and woozy and seeing black spots in front of my eyes.

X-rays showed that I had cut into the bone. The doctor explained that this was like fracturing my finger on top of the incision. Like I really needed any more pain.

I took the pain pills for a couple of days, but they made me feel weird, so I gave them up. I got back to work after about 3 days, but it took forever to heal. I spent all of my Christmas toymaking season last year holding my sander/holding down my wood/carrying wood with my other four fingers, with my middle finger stuck in the air. A big middle finger to hurrying I say.

Now when I am in a hurry, I remember to go slowly. I take a step back from the tool that wants to eat my fingers, take a deep breath, and consciously slow down. Focus on being aware of the blade and my hands.

This is a good thing to remember with my son too. When you try to hurry kids, they tend to dig in their heels and sloooowww down. Especially if you do it too often. I am trying to cut down on the things that make me hurry on a regular basis–mostly on my last minute post office runs. I hate having to hurry, and I really hate trying to hurry a child.

Something that helps me be a better parent is seeing other parents doing things that I find offensive. Then I try to remember how rude that looks next time I feel like doing that particular thing. In this instance, I hate it when parents snap at their little kids to “hurry up!” But everybody does it! It just jumps out of your mouth before you can stop it.

Sometimes it helps me to get outside of myself, and pretend someone is watching me. Would I behave this way to my child if I was paying attention to the words coming out of my mouth?

Hurrying is poisonous. It’s stressful. It creates a rift between ourselves and our children. And it doesn’t even help. How much faster can you do what you have to do? And if you cause a fight, then it’ll take even longer! Be patient.

Okay library story time is over, and so is this post. What do you do to avoid hurrying?


4 thoughts on “Hurrying

  1. first off…ouchie!

    I find myself rushing a ton and it sucks! One thing that I do to help calm myself down is to breath and think about what I need done and the importance of it. Then I turn on some music and tune out while creating.

  2. Our daily rush is in the morning when trying to get everyone out the door on time for school. The best way for me to avoid the rushing around is to make sure I am super-organized before the kids get up. This means making and packing lunches and backpacks the night before and figuring out what everyone is wearing the night before as well. In the mornings I get up before everyone else and get myself ready and have a coffee (or two!) before I get the kids up. This helps immensely. I am someone who prides herself on being on time for things and I hate to be late. I teach my kids that being on time is a good thing as it is respectful of other peoples’ time and not rushing around is a more pleasant and peaceful way to start the day. I can be pretty rigid and so I also must work at relaxing a bit on some things i.e. piano practice doesn’t *have* to happen as soon as they walk in the door from school, dinner doesn’t *have* to happen at 5pm sharp every night – I have to remind myself that it’s okay if something doesn’t get done exactly when I think it should be – I need to allow myself (and everyone else) a bit of flexibility. I don’t want my kids to look back on their childhood and just remember me/them being in a hurry and rushed for everything.

  3. Your story reminds me of a first day at work I had, I trained as a jeweler and was helping out someone who had a massive order, I didn’t know them at the time, I was using a burr on a jewellers drill, (picture tiny metal pineapple rotating on a dentist size drill), I slipped and it bounced…fortunately off my finger nail, which it created a crater with a very soft spot in the center, I was fine, but then practically fainted…they thought they’d been lumbered with a waste of space that first week, but I went on to work for them for months while the order was on, and became good friends, I hurried so much that first week trying to impress with speed, that I slipped on quality and they had to pick me up on it. Always worth doing something properly once, than badly twice.

  4. once again…a post I greatly needed to read-now must apply! Yes, hurrying is poisonous and stressful and doesn’t help! I’ve just been reading too about getting things ready the night before-i.e. on Sunday evenings, preparing everything for Monday school time-table cleared, pencils sharpened, lesson plans ready, books out, containers ready to catch bugs outside :-). Another tip I read from was if you had a date w/someone for lunch say and you have 2 blog posts you want to get written before you leave, then first get everything ready for your lunch date (kids dressed and ready-even w/shoes on, you are dressed and ready to walk out the door, all things need to take to playdate are already in car), and then do your blog posts and you’ll know exactly when must stop to leave b/c everything else is already done. You don’t have to try to figure out how much time it will take to get everyone ready and find missing shoes, etc. b/c that’s already done. This was good advice for me b/c I always underestimate how long something is going to take.

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