When you’re always in a hurry you end up missing things.
I know that because one time we were on a hike in the Tetons, heading up a pretty steep trail at a pretty steady clip, when finally someone admitted to needing a breather.
And while we were breathing, we had time to look around, and while looking around, we saw a deer grazing not far from where we stood.
Had we not stopped being in a hurry we would have missed it. Because we stopped, the serene mountain setting was enhanced by the serene wildlife that was enjoying it with us.
It’s happened at the ocean, where after stopping, I’ve seen a seal playing in the surf or a whale spouting in the distance. Something I’d have missed if I’d been hurrying along oblivious to the life around me.
It’s happened in my home, where upon stopping, I’ve remembered something left undone, or seen a need that wasn’t as noisy as some others.
Sometimes you have to be in a hurry because something unexpected needs attention and your well ordered plans have to fit yet one more thing into a schedule already filled.
That’s OK because that happens in life.
But when you’re always in a hurry, when from sunup to sundown and beyond you’re rushing in hopes of not getting too much further behind, you’ll miss things.
I know whereof I speak. And I’m speaking to myself.
When you’re in a hurry on the highway, you miss the chance to be patient and accommodating with other traffic.
When you’re in a hurry in the grocery store, you miss the chance to remember you need tomatoes.
When you’re in a hurry with the kids, you miss the chance to see what they’re seeing the way they’re seeing it.
When one of my children was small, it took the longest time before he would sleep through the night. At first I tried everything anyone suggested to get him to sleep for a longer stretch so I could.
Then I stopped and looked around and recognized that because he had three other siblings, night was the only time where things were quiet and unhurried, that we could be together just us two.
And I stopped hurrying.
Now I’m a grandmother and am in even less of a hurry when I’m around these amazing little personalities as they discover and explore.
Because now I know that stopping and looking has more value than being in a hurry to reach the top.
Stopping is when you have the idea, make the decision, get the inspiration.
Stopping is when you see the rainbow, smell the flower, feel the sunshine.
Maybe it will happen if we schedule less, delegate more or leave earlier.
Maybe it will happen if we put it on our calendar: 3-4 p.m.: Sit down and look around.
Maybe it will happen when we recognize its value in our lives.
Maybe it will happen when we run out of breath.