Have a seat. Take your time. Smell the roses.
I had my day all planed out. I put several things off until later in the afternoon so I could combine trips and “save time.” I could have done more earlier in the day, but didn’t because I wanted to get stuff done at home too. I thought if would be no big deal to do it all later.
Well later came and as I was on my way out to accomplish all my objectives I got a reminder about a haircut I had scheduled that afternoon for one of the kids. I thought it was on another day. Oops.
I realized then that my day just got busier. Instead of admitting defeat and rescheduling some of the stuff for tomorrow, I decided I could do it all.
So we went to the haircut and then stopped at Hobby Lobby to get more Christmas lights. They were out, so we also went to Wal-Mart looking for them. Luckily, I got the last pack like that in the store. Lucky me.
While I was there I needed a gallon of milk and some fresh vegetables. Somehow I ended up with at least $110 worth of groceries in my cart.
In that moment I realized what I had done to myself.
It was so late, I had both my kids plus one extra kid with me and the lines at Wal-Mart were ridiculous.
I knew that if I were to save my evening (it was probably already too late) that I absolutely, positively had to get out of Wal-Mart with my stuff as FAST as possible.
Instead of waiting in the long lines like I should have, I took me, my three kids and my cart loaded down with groceries through the self check out. Really. I did that.
I told my kids I needed their help and decided that together we could do this. My kids didn’t get a vote.
Well, we did do it, but it wasn’t worth the time we saved. In fact, I’m sure it took much longer.
I was stressed and frantic the whole time. I threatened and snapped at my kids at least 15 times because they were acting like children (how dare they) while I was checking and bagging up my own items. How could they do that when I was in such a hurry? Why were they not more considerate of my poor planning?
I was so angry at my kids when I finished. In a huff we left the store, dropped off the extra kid at her house, went home made dinner and finally started eating at 8 p.m. It was a nice home cooked dinner, but way too late to eat on a school night.
Later after the kids were in bed my hubs and I were watching Jimmy Kimmel as we often do. They had a segment where they were surveying random people on the street and asking them if they fought with their families over the Thanksgiving Holiday.
It was kind of funny, but mainly sad. I felt so bad that everyone thinks it’s normal and somewhat glamorous to fight with family. How embarrassing for them I thought. Who just enjoys fighting their family members? Why can’t everyone just be kind?
It was that moment when I realized I was the embarrassing one. I was the one snapping at and threatening my kids while I was at Wal-Mart. I was the one who was fighting with family and being embarrassing.
My kids were just being kids. They didn’t deserved to be rushed through the store or forced to help me quickly accomplish a task that cannot be done quickly.
The memory of this trip to the store is going to stay with me for a long time. I never want to do this again. I’m tired of trying to rush something that is un-rushable. It isn’t worth the effort.
Next time I show up at Wal-Mart at 6 p.m. to do all my grocery shopping for the week, I’m just going to enjoy waiting in the long lines, and I’m going to goof off with my kids in the line because there is no reason to fight against it. It’s happening, and goofing off sounds like more fun than being frantic.
Do I speak for all of us when I say we just have to stop rushing around, especially during the holiday? Am I the only one who does it? It simply isn’t worth the stress it causes me or my kids.
I swear, my days of chronically rushing around are over. I’m not going to rush any more. I’d rather accept that I’m behind schedule than rush everyone around so we can save 10 minutes. Ten minutes means nothing to me, but quality of life for me and the kids means a lot.
So that’s the message. What is it worth the rush? When the kids grow up, do we want them to remembering us cramming chicken nuggets down their throat and pushing them out the door, always in a hurry to get to the next place?
Life is busy, but taking the time you need to do stuff is important for everyone’s mental health, especially yours.
I’d love your thoughts on this subject. If you can commiserate or have tips or solutions or any other thoughts to share, please consider leaving a comment below.