The Speed of Life

Feb 22, 2016

There are three words that I’m trying to eliminate from my vocabulary. These small words have become such a big part of life, that these days most of us utter them without even thinking. Unfortunately, I believe they have become overused in the 21st century and I’m starting to get sick of hearing them and sick of automatically using them myself.

Although somewhat controversial, these words are: busy, fast, and quick.

They all represent the speed of life. We all live jam-packed lives and are always rushing from point A to point B – whether we’re talking physical locations or how we flow through our day. But why must we rush? As a result, we often forget to live life and find ourselves more focused on just getting through every day life. And as a parent, I know that I have been guilty of this as well.

Here are the key reasons that these three words have been pinching a nerve lately:

Busy – This word has the power to shut down a conversation instantly.

“Hey, how’ve you been?”

“Oh, I’ve been busy with work and the kids, etc.”

What do you usually say next? For me, it’s usually an awkward attempt to fish for more information – and if the following response has the word “good” in it, then I practically give up and move onto the next person.

Busy is also a word that is often used when making excuses for not visiting elderly relatives, not doing our tax-return, and forgetting to buy birthday presents. And it’s a terrible excuse. We are all capable of finding the time to prepare dinner, watch TV, or browse our Facebook newsfeed. But saying we’re ‘busy’ seems to be the easiest excuse in the book. And I am definitely just as guilty of this as the next person. But I’m trying to get better and catch myself in the act!

Fast – I don’t mind this word in certain contexts, such as “Gee, that was fast” when talking about food being served in a restaurant. For obvious reasons. But I’m not a fan of its use when talking about kids’ development – “Oh, they grow up so fast.”

I know that my daughter is only two years old and I haven’t yet experienced her getting her drivers’ license or graduating from uni, but if I think about it, I am very happy with the pace in which she has grown over the past two years. I have ensured to be present and it has definitely felt like two years (well, two years, four months to be exact). I aim to continue this sense of presence so that I don’t have to use the word ‘fast’ as though I’ve blinked and missed it. Sure, I’m still amazed at how clear my memories are of her as a newborn. But I’m very content with how she is turning out. And hopefully she continues to grow into a wonderful human being.

Quick – For anyone with kids, I’m sure this word has been used to usher along your offspring to get dressed or head to the car or sit in their car seat or…well, you get the idea. Before I was a mother, I noticed other parents saying it to their kids and couldn’t understand. Now, I know it’s because of the freaking frustration of a toddler or young child dragging their feet when you just want to get on with your day!

But I realised that by constantly saying the word ‘quick’, I am simply instilling this speed of life into my daughter from a young age. Sure I might end up being 5-10 minutes late for Playgroup, but so what?

Whenever I’m running late for something, rather than getting anxious I’ve started telling myself that “the universe only knows perfect timing”. This somewhat free-spirited saying rings true. How often have you been late for something to discover that you only just missed a car accident ahead of you? Or you get to your destination to discover that everyone else is even later than you? Or the doctor is running late anyway? If you find yourself rushing, simply take a deep breath and count to three (or keep counting if that helps) and perhaps get creative and see if a game will get a better response from your child…or offer them a bribe…or threaten to take away the iPad…whatever works!

While somewhat controversial, I’m glad I’ve gotten these three exasperating words out in the air. And now that you all know which words I’m trying to avoid saying myself, please help me to stay accountable.

I am simply trying to avoid being trapped in a life speeding by me.

I just want to have the chance to live it, calmly breath through it, and enjoy it.

Leanne 🙂

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