Hurry Up - the words that I am giving up!
It was around 7.45 in the morning. Imagine a typical morning rush during the school day. Mihir was almost ready. He took a shower, got ready, and packed his backpack. Now he was almost done with his breakfast. His bus generally comes around 8.20, so he did have more than half an hour. I don’t know what got into me, out of a habit, I started to rush him. I was constantly telling him to hurry up, you are going to get late, it’s already almost 8.00, hurry up! I was panicking and stressing out while my 9-year-old was calmly eating his breakfast without paying much attention to my outburst. He did finish his breakfast on time, we went to the bus stop before time, the bus came, he got into the bus without any rush, waved me goodbye without showing me any agitation or rush to get into the bus and chat with his friends, the bus left. I was standing alone on the stop, and I could not stop thinking about my words, Hurry up!! That was a kind of moment of awakening for me. Why do I constantly say these words? What’s the rush? Why am I in such a hurry? Why am I worried that we will not be on time? I am sure I am not the only one who says these words constantly, how can I stop saying hurry up constantly? and that’s how this episode was created!!
Hello, my dear friends, welcome to yet another episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast. I am so glad that you are here today. This is episode no 79 - Hurry up - the words that I am giving up. I have so much to say about this topic. This is such an inherent habit that I have acquired ever since I became a mom. I heard a quote somewhere a long time ago, Nature does not hurry, still seasons change, plants grow, birds chirp, everything falls into its place beautifully. Then, why rush? I understand as adults we have tons of responsibilities. I understand the rush, the panic that you feel just getting your kids out of the door, into the car for school. Every mom who has done the school drop off duty can relate to this. The mornings are crazy. Just imagine if you start counting the number of instructions you give to our kids, will you even be able to keep track? Wear your shoes, get your lunchbox, wear your jacket, wear your mask, did you take your homework? Did you take your water bottle, hurry up, we are getting late, be quick, let’s go and sit in the car, finally school drop off is done? Hmmmm. By the time you come back home, you are exhausted and if you have more than one kid, just multiply the number of instructions with the number of kids you have and just think how much time and energy you waste in just rushing them up. Today, let’s take a pause for a minute. I know you are in a hurry but just let’s take a pause for a minute and think, what happened to us? Were you like this always? I am sure the answer to this is No. Then what happened my dear friend. You grew up, you lost the joy in the present moment. As a kid, there is nothing beyond the present moment. You used to live in that moment. I remembered as a kid I loved looking at the sky for hours to find the different shapes in the clouds. It was one of my fondest memories of childhood. I used to love looking at the leaves just after rain, I used to love looking at the droplets that fall down from those leaves, they look so beautiful. I used to love the smell of a new book. When was the last time I stopped to look at the leaves and their droplets? When was the last time when I tried to find the shapes in the clouds? When was the last time I tried to fill my heart up with that beautiful smell of a new book? Honestly, I don’t even remember. What about you, my friend? What did you like to do as a child? Perhaps dance in the rain, play in the puddles, look at the rain from your window for hours, do a staring contest or make up stories and laugh till you fall off to the ground, walk on the grass barefoot, what was your favorite thing to do as a child? When was the last time you indulged in something mindful, something that brings you pure joy? When was the last time you did something that you loved to do, not just have to do as a chore? Where are you rushing? Where do you want to go? I know, I completely understand the burden of responsibilities and the never-ending to-do lists. I understand most of the times we are playing catch up. We somehow have acquired a tunnel vision; we only see what’s next in our agenda. We are so focused on the next activity before we even finish the one in our hand that there is no time to get distracted. But kids are different, aren’t they? They are not dictated by the to-do list, the notification ring of the cell phone.
The other day, we were going out somewhere. I don’t recall where, but we were almost leaving the house when Maitreyi struck with the inspiration to recite or shall I say create her own poem. My initial reaction was okay, that's great you can recite your poem in the car and then we will be all ears. But she was adamant she wanted to recite right away because her inspiration could not be held back. We reluctantly said yes but of course on one condition only, she has to recite it while getting ready, while wearing her jacket, shoes, mask etc. My poor kid was struggling to multitask, so I took control and I started putting on her shoes, jackets while she was singing her poem in the loudest voice possible. I didn’t hear a word properly because I was so focused to getting everyone out of the door. Mihir was laughing so hard at her every sentence and that made her even more excited to sing even more loudly, with all those actions and movements. I was now really struggling to get her into the car, and she was still singing as loudly as possible. The moment I sat in the car, I asked her if she was done singing now, we have to go, she said no she was not even half through her poem. So, now I had no choice but to listen to her singing. She was singing merrily. I finally listened to her singing, her words and they were so funny. She completely made up a song all about her, her friends, her teachers and us. We all were in her song; it was so funny to hear her singing. My god, that child has patience and perseverance. She was singing for almost half an hour and was in that zone. She was carefree, she was not bothered if her tune was correct, if her words made sense, if her lines rhyme, she was just simply enjoying the moment and she was by any means not in a rush to finish her masterpiece. There was no rush to jump to the next activity, there was no hurry to finish the song, she was just having the best time of her life in that small moment.
I think I learned my lesson. It was the second time in the last few days that I realized how happy you can be if you stop rushing and start living in the moment. I decided to stop saying hurry up to anyone. To be honest, it was quite easy to banish those words from my sentences, but it was not easy to replace those words with patience. It was easy not to say hurry up when Maitreyi wanted to pick every single-color leaf, red, orange, yellow, brown while coming back from school but it was not easy to wait with patience and actually enjoy the time with her every single time. It is a practice for life, I don’t think we can achieve it in a day, but I am standing my ground. I am not going to rush them ever just to fit in my agenda. But what I think is the best strategy is to show by example. Model the behavior. For the last year and half, I have been deliberately trying to work on myself to slow down, to live more mindfully. I have been trying not to fill my day with activities after activities. I am being more mindful of my to-do lists. I am not at all saying that I have found the complete full proof solution to the problem, but yes, I am trying, and I am trying my best. I think somewhere that has instilled more patience in me and that is the key. So, to all those moms, who are rushing to get everything done, take deep breaths, slow down, there is enough time, there is a lot to live. Just remember, when you say hurry up, we don’t have time for this for every little distraction, for every little detour that your kids want to take, you are actually saying you don’t have time to live because in those detours, in those little distractions they are collecting the happiness of a lifetime and you are missing on it big time. The next time, when your kids want to see the ladybug crossing the road while you are on a beautiful trail, let them watch it even if it stops you from getting to your destination faster. The next time when your kids want to tell you every single, small detail about what fun they had in school, don’t stop them because they are bonding with you in that moment, these are the moments that we might miss when they are all grown up. The next time your kid wants to take an extra minute to walk to the grocery store because she wants to read the names of the stores around her, don’t rush her, that tiny mind is at work and trying to make sense of the world. The next time you kid wants to take an extra minute to make a snow angel, don’t rush her instead join her, these are the moments that bring true happiness and before you know it, they will be all grown up and fly the nest. They are polishing their skills in those moments. Their curious minds are at work, and it is their way of expressing their emotions, their thoughts. Let their thoughts flow fluidly, let them find the shapes in the cloud, let them dance in the rain, let them watch the line of geese crossing the road, let them smell the flowers. These are the moments to cherish forever, not the rushed ones, not the ones when everyone is in a rush to go somewhere, do something and fill their day. This is not only for kids but for you too my friend. Stop, take a pause, take a look around. There is so much beauty around you, I know there are tons of things on your plate but that can wait a minute longer. Just take a look around, there is so much to love, so much to appreciate, so much to learn. Experience life through the eyes of a child, I am sure everything will be magical and extraordinary. Let go of all that frantic pace, all that rush, all the worry to get somewhere. Let your adventure, curiosity and wonder of life never end… Let’s just stop saying hurry up and live in the moment.