Can’t help being a hurrier

I am a hurrier. If a group existed where I could join in with other such flawed individuals to help me kick the habit, I would do so with an eager heart.
I would raise my hand and say, “My name is Wendi Stewart and I hurry.”
I can’t help myself it seems. I eat as if it might be my last meal. I brush my teeth in a frenzy that nearly removes the enamel from my teeth with each stroke.
I wash my hair in the shower with a fury that both confuses and startles me when I catch myself in my perpetual hurry mode. And I’m often moving at the speed of light when I am on the end of my vacuum cleaner and all other occupants of my home run for cover.
I would welcome a deep hypnotic state and someone taking notes while I confess the reasons for my haste.
Did a bear chase my mother while she was pregnant with me? Was my hair on fire as a child and I had to run to the river to put the fire out, and the experience was so horrific that I blocked it out and was left with the frenzied tempo of my life?
I know people who eat slowly; who live in the moment—taking in and making note of each second. And though their sloth-like movement nearly has me running screaming from the room, I am amazed and puzzled by said slowness.
What genes do they possess that allows for such leisure; for an almost loitering through life?
My value on any given day seems to be determined by my productive output, so to sit in one place without actually accomplishing anything seems to me ill-advised and causes me enough anxiety that I speed up.
I tried relaxation yoga once and was asked to leave. My confession: I flunked out in relaxation yoga. Something about rules and proper decorum and not holding my partner in a headlock—and absolutely no laughing or snapping my fingers at the instructor saying, “Let’s move this along.”
I didn’t even get a refund. I should have contacted the Better Business Bureau but after some self-reflection, I decided I might have been partly responsible.
Meditation hasn’t worked, though it seems an obvious treatment. I stretch out on the sofa, stare at a spot on the ceiling, and control my breathing. But after about 30 seconds, I start making a mental list of what I will do when I am done meditating.
Or I wonder about the spot on the ceiling and how it got there, and do I need to paint the ceiling? And is there any insulation behind that ceiling and was stucco really the way to go and all manner of pondering.
Not exactly mind control.
I could sedate myself, but there could be side effects much worse than hurrying.
My hurrying came to my attention several years ago when a woman stopped me on the street to ask me why I was always running.
I was shocked. Was I running? I hadn’t noticed. I worked for a lawyer who seldom came to the office and I was the lone employee, so that meant locking up the office to get the mail, to do the banking, to bail my employer out of jail, to take him to rehab.
Those last two may not be entirely true, but you get the message.
This woman said every single time she saw me, I was in full flight and wondered if I had robbed the bank or knocked off the convenience store. But she watched and saw that it was just running to the bank and the post office, and what possibly could be so important at either of those stops that required such haste.
She had a point. I tried to walk, even gave strolling a try, but my mind filled up with what ifs: what if the office phone was ringing and someone really needed a legal question answered, or what if someone came to the door to pay his bill and found the door locked with an “I’ll be back in five minutes” sign on the door.
I could come up with a multitude of reasons to keep running. And so I have.
Maybe I’ll take another crack at slowing down. My knees hurt now so now maybe the perfect time.
Wish me luck.
wendistewart@live.ca

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