Sometimes I’m convinced that I’ve been hard-wired with a timer, living my life as if I will be penalized if I don’t finish a task in the shortest time possible. This compels me to act in ways even I would find annoying if I were on the receiving end. “Why are you turning here?” I ask my husband when we’re going somewhere, having already mapped out the optimal route in my head, but of course not bothering to share it with him. Even if I had, I’m sure he would point out that I’m not the one in the driver’s seat. (Maybe he should give me one of those kiddie steering wheels I had as a child; that way I could steer without interfering with the driver.)
Ironically, although my time has been more unstructured as of late, that chronic feeling of lagging behind hasn’t abated. My routine is not routine, but is rife with multi-tasking (yes, that sound of rushing water is me doing the dishes while I talk to you). I find it hard to sit still and concentrate; lately I keep my laptop computer on my knees while making phone calls and keeping an eye on the TV. As quickly as I try to do things, I don’t like to be kept waiting – that covers everything from doctor’s offices to green lights (why is the driver ahead of me so slow to react?). Put me in a “customer care” queue and I’m likely to go bonkers listening to how important my call is as the minutes continue to tick by. Out shopping, I will invariably be in the slowest line, behind the one person who has a challenging price check.
Most disappointing of all is my own failure in the “get it done” quickly area. Rather, I seem to be slowing down as I get older, marching off in a certain direction only to get there and wonder why. Multi-tasking usually means I leave something significant undone, forgotten or dropped along the way.
When I was a child, I wasn’t bothered with a long list of “need to do’s”. I remember summer days that stretched endlessly ahead, punctuated by play activities that left plenty of time for daydreaming or contemplating the leaves on a tree. It strikes me that my rushing here and there has actually robbed me of time – time to think, time to be. Maybe, just maybe, if I slow down, I’ll find what I’m really looking for. No time to think about that now; I’ll put it on my “to-do” list.