I don’t have time for this! That time when I realized “Hurry” was my mantra

Last weekend, my husband left town for a couple of days. Ordinarily, I’d have wanted to go with him. This time however, I wanted to stay home and just be alone. Having recently recognized that I was spending my days in a tangled up knot of emotions I couldn’t quite put my finger on, I knew I needed to search my soul and see if I could find some answers.

As with most things in my life, I approached this as a task. I wasn’t sure exactly how to tackle it, but I knew I needed to be still and quiet. Also, I wanted to read some blogs that had recently caught my attention (meaning: brought unexplained tears) and start writing down the things that were on my mind and heart. I had a mental list and I needed to check off the boxes to achieve whatever state of peace I thought I needed to find. 

I had scheduled an appointment to take my car to the dealer for maintenance Saturday morning. This couldn’t wait as I was already overdue, and despite my internal argument to blow it off, I decided to do it anyway. “I’ll wait while they change the oil” I told myself. “Then I’ll get home and have that checked off the list so I can start the process of figuring out what’s bothering me.”

I really don’t have time for this but I will do it anyway!

It took quite awhile for the service advisor to get to me, so another service advisor brought me in, made it clear he was not assigned to me, but helped me anyway. When I said I wanted to wait for my car to be finished, he said they were super busy and it would take a few hours. A few hours?! I don’t have time for that! I thought for a second about walking the one mile distance home, then thought better of it feeling the weight of my heavy purse on my shoulder and the flip flips on my bare feet. “How long for the shuttle?” I asked. “They both are out so maybe 15 minutes” he replied.

I don’t have time for this! 

Perturbed that I had forgotten my phone, I sat in the lounge checking Facebook and Instagram on my tablet while waiting for my turn in the shuttle. My feet fidgeted. My mind raced. My shoulders tensed as I impatiently waited. What if someone needs me and I miss their call? I tried to calm the anxiety, but to no avail. Before long, the shuttle arrived and the nice gentleman who drove me home lightened my mood with his conversation about his wife, his children and his home. The lighter mood was short-lived however, as getting out of the shuttle I had a moment of panic when I realized I didn’t have my keys or the code to the garage door opener.

I don’t have time for this!

Remembering I had left the back door open, I unlatched the side gate, made my way inside and relaxed a bit as I filled a glass with water and sat down on the couch. “Where do I begin?” I thought as I opened my email to find the blogs I had wanted to read. I remembered a set of four videos that Emily P. Freeman had sent me. I listened as she talked about hurry and hustle and how stillness creates space for your soul. She reminded me to celebrate my smallness, to connect with my soul, to look for signs of my life and my soul being overwhelmed.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I began to make a list of all the things that were nagging at my soul, forming lumps in my throat for no apparent reason and wringing out the very last of my energy in my days.

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Hurry. Hustle. Living small. My purpose. My hair. My weight.

As I sat listening to my tears, I realized that my life has been full of hurry and hustle for nearly a year. What began as a necessary way of coping with a family member’s health issues, the stress of buying a house and the stress of a new position at work, hurry had become my “normal.”

I thought about earlier that morning at the car dealership, when 30 minutes without my phone, a three hour wait for my car and a 15 minute wait for a shuttle seemed major inconveniences to my agenda for the day.

What is my hurry? 

Having wanted boiled eggs for breakfast, I fried them because it was quicker. Knowing a short walk, even with a heavy purse would be good for my soul, I decided the shuttle would be quicker. Reflecting on the past week, I remembered the dash through the drive-thru to shove food in my mouth before making my next stop, cutting conversations short so I could get on the road to miss some of the LA traffic, coming home with no plans for dinner and having to send my husband out to pick something up.

What is my hurry?

Sitting on my couch, stunned by the ridiculous revelation I just had, I closed my eyes, quieted my spirit and prayed. “Lord help me give up the hurry and hustle. Show me how I can quiet the voice of hurry and find moments of quiet and communion with you, even in the midst of my busy work days.”

I approached this last week with a lighter heart, a contentment I haven’t felt in I-don’t-know-how-long, and a desire to connect not just with my soul, but with my husband, family, friends and co-workers. Instead of looking for a drive-thru to grab lunch and eat while I visited my branches, I looked for places to stop, get out of my car, and find something more healthy to eat. Instead of cutting conversations short, I lingered in doorways, listening and investing in conversation. I worried less about my commute in traffic as I listened to a novel on my Audible app to pass the time. I had energy to kiss my husband when I arrived home, cook a delicious meal for dinner and make plans for having friends over this weekend.

As Emily would say, I made space for my soul to breathe.

To wash out the hurry and allow space to fill the place it takes in my soul, requires me to be intentional about my days. I did have to take meat out of the freezer and have a plan for what I would fix for dinner. I had to schedule my days lightly, giving myself the freedom to change the agenda if possible to allow for more time to sit with a co-worker and chat. It wasn’t perfect, and it didn’t have to be.

If hurry and hustle are the rulers of your days, take some time to give your soul space to breathe. And if you’re so inclined, I would encourage you to check out Emily P. Freeman’s brand new book, Simply Tuesday. She inspires me and encourages me to live fully as God calls me to be, but without guilt or rules or that sort of thing. You won’t be disappointed. I promise you!

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