Why are we in such a hurry?

Last week I wrote about taking the time to smell the roses. Well, it wasn’t roses, exactly. More like grass and peaches. But nonetheless, it’s made me acutely speedingaware of the fact we don’t seem to do it often enough. You know, take the time. We’re too busy speeding through life.

Why are we in such a rush? Who decided we should live in fast forward? Have you noticed how quickly we’re going? Like me, are you wondering why? Like me, do you ever feel we’re going so fast we’re spinning out of control?

Wouldn’t you like to just have a minute to catch your breath and enjoy the moment??

To really savour it. To take it all in. To make the most of it.


Chill. Please. We’ll get there soon enough.

We’re barely two weeks into summer. Yet the other day I was walking along Bloor Street (Toronto’s higher-than-high-end boulevard of designer clothing) and what did I see? Fall clothes in store windows. And before you ask, the answer is, “no”, I have not won a lottery. I was not shopping. I wasn’t even window-shopping.

I have a client with an office on that street and I’d been there, doing some work for him.

Back to the point, Fransi. “Yes”, you read right. The windows were, indeed, featuring fall clothes. I kid you not. Coats. And boots. And long-sleeved dresses.

Are you kidding me?

Who, in their right mind, wants to try on wool dresses when, with the humidity, it’s 36 degrees (celsius) outside? Thinking about it is giving me a rash.

Summer clothes are on sale. It is barely summer. When I was a kid, summer clothes — or what was left of them in the stores — went on sale in the fall. Once summer was over. And it was the same for every season. Winter sales were in the spring, etc. etc. etc.

Doesn’t that make more sense?

Maybe this is the reason why retail is in such a mess. We force people to buy stuff at totally the wrong time. And then, when it is the right time, the stores have to make room for the next season’s clothes (again too early in the season) so they put everything on sale — even though they’re putting stuff on sale when, in fact, people should be buying it at full price. Because it’s still in-season.

Our timing is off.

It’s not just clothing stores, though.

We’re not content reading at a normal pace. No siree. We take speed reading courses. And then there’s speed dating. It’s not a question of spending enough time with someone to see if there’s anything there worth pursuing. It’s about meeting as many guys (or gals) as you can in X number of minutes.

Presto. Like instant coffee. Just add water and stir.

Nuts if you ask me.

Just today I noticed the Apple homepage is already selling back-to-school items. What?????? School just got out, for God sake.


Does any student you know feel like thinking about classes and studying right now?

By August Hallowe’en candy will be on shelves. By October stores will be decorated for Christmas.

And have you looked at 12 and 13 year old girls lately?

They wear heels. And, God help us, thongs. And push up bras. And skin tight jeans. And make up. Far too many of them smoke. And I hate to tell you, a fair number of them are also having sex. Why are they in such a rush to be 30?

Slow down. Please.

It’ll happen. Let it happen naturally. And gradually. And gracefully.

Do we always have to be first? To get promoted? To get married? To have kids? To buy a house? Or the latest gizmo? Must we be the first to conquer space? Or Iraq? Must we win the nuclear weapons race? Must we break the news before we know whether or not it’s really news? Must we be so anxious to cure everything that ails us, we release medications before they’ve been properly tested, putting lives at risk?

All so we can be first.

Must we run around, like chickens with our heads cut off, enjoying nothing? Missing too much? Seeing nothing? Not really getting to know anyone? Not feeling, not tasting, not experiencing? Taking nothing in?

Slow down. Please. I’m out of breath. Hyperventilating.

Hit the “pause” button. Unless someone can prove otherwise, we only have one life. It would be great if we could re-wind and start over, but I don’t think it’s possible. Much as I’d like to believe it is.

So stop rushing. Let’s not ‘gulp’ our lives away. I think there’s something to be said for living in slow motion. Or at least slower motion.

Ahhhhhhh. That’s better.




22 thoughts on “Why are we in such a hurry?

  1. You’re absolutely right. We need to slow down however we can. Appreciate what we have. If only for a brief moment. And I can’t think of a worse punishment than trying on fall/winter clothes right now. Or really any clothes. It’s going to be 100 degrees F today and it’s only getting hotter between now and October.

  2. I’ve been sick over needing an extended amount of solitude right now. In the woods. Alone. Although I do it mostly every day now and it of course has positive benefits, A supercharged lifestyle doesn’t really agree with me. It’s not how I want to live the rest of my life.

    And of course the ridiculousness of so much nowadays, although mostly entertaining, is well, ridiculous haha

    I thought about so many different things when I read this, particularly “Yell out your window- I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it any more!”

    • I hear ‘ya. I love solitude. Love people but I must have alone time. Good for you for making sure you get that time in the woods. Too many people ignore the need and just stay on the treadmill.

      You have NO idea how many times a day I want to stick my head out my window and scream “enough!!! I’m not gonna take it anymore!” 🙂 Still one of my all time favourite movies.

  3. Right on, Fransi! Slow down. Be. Breathe. Challenge ourselves to “see” what’s around us in the moment, rather than thinking about the moment in the future. The only gift is right now.

  4. I look back now and wonder what was it all in aid of – rushing here, rushing there – this retirement gig is quite the job, come day, go day put it off if you don’t feel like it, you will enjoy it when the time comes believe you me.

  5. Fransi, you absolutely spoke to me with this post, everything from the fall clothes arriving in boutiques to children growing up too fast. I live in one of those high-pressure, ultra-competitive suburban communities where parents push-push-push their overscheduled children to the breaking point. It makes me crazy. I’ve already told my daughter, who’s entering high school next year, that she can participate in ONE extracurricular activity and take no more than ONE one honors level class. Anything more than that is too much pressure, too much stress. And one honors class is enough — if she even does that. I don’t care if she doesn’t earn college credit before she graduates from high school! Why does she have to do that anyway? Why can’t she earn college credits in college? She only gets one chance to be a kid, and I want her to enjoy it, stress free. As you already said so aptly above: What’s the friggin’ hurry?

    • I totally agree with you Gwen. I also have a real issue with parents who put their kids under such unnecessary stress. College is stressful enough, as is life. We don’t have to add more. Honestly, I just don’t get it. And I also agree with you when you say we only get one chance to be a kid. We only get one chance to go through every stage of life — childhood, young womanhood, college, a first job, first boyfriend and on and on it goes. We have to take the time to enjoy them, because by the time we look back and wish we had, it’s too late.

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