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Why Are We Always In Such A Rush?

“As soon as you’re born, they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all.”

John Lennon

While in line at the local post office recently, I struck up a friendly conversation with the person in front of me. When I mentioned I was new in town, Jim informed me there used to be a larger post office in another part of town, which had since closed its doors.

With five folks on line in front of him, this offered us a chance to talk about where Jim lived prior to coming to Steamboat Springs, as well as what Steamboat Springs is like during the winter ski season. After about five minutes, Jim remarked that he misses the other post office because he never had to wait in line, to which I responded, “Think of all the nice people you get to talk with, while waiting in line.” Jim chuckled, as he stepped up to the counter.

Why are we always in such a rush?

longer than winter
the line…
at the bank


Copyright © 2004 and beyond by Michele Harvey – all rights reserved

Do we believe we will not live long enough to accomplish all our priorities? Are we afraid of wasting our time, when we would rather be doing something else? Is it because we are an impatient lot who can’t defer gratification? Is it all of the above?

The other day, a cashier whisked me aside so she could ring up the one customer waiting behind me. I was putting away the coins she had just given me.

If we value our time so greatly, why not make all moments valuable? We have become somewhat cold and socially awkward, in my opinion. Leo Buscalia, also known as “Dr. Love,” wrote about how we stand in crowded elevators, staring at the door, missing opportunities for numerous encounters with others all around us. How often do you see a group of friends sitting in a booth at the diner, interacting with their cell phones, instead of with each other?

At times we may truly be in a rush,
like when someone we love is visiting for a short time, or when we are keeping others waiting, and of course during a true emergency. Nonetheless, when even the express lane seems slow, it may be prime time to simply slow down, inhale the frenzy, and exhale the peacefulness from our heart to the world. Let’s embrace ourselves, one another, and what exists all around us in each present moment of what we refer to as time.

Food for thought and the upcoming holiday season? Books make great holiday gifts that you can order online.

Consider gifting my books, From Confusion To Clarity (Introduction by the author of Conversations With God, Neale Donald Walsch) and Poetry For Living An Inspired Life, both of which, I believe will increase your experience of the present moment.

Signed copies of both books can be shipped anywhere and are available respectively @ http://micheleharveyauthor.com and http://micheleharveyauthor.com/books/ Until next time…

Wishing you every blessing,

Michele Harvey Author

24 Responses to Why Are We Always In Such A Rush?

  • Jannietta says:

    Next time I am standing in line I will try to remember to use the time to connect with others rather than to feed my own impatience!
    I like what you say about trying to make better use of our time – seeing as its so precious to us. I too have observed the staring into the cell phone phenomena and the frustration of people not being present to who is actually there in front of them!!
    I think that slowing down brings up the fear that this moment is not enough and so we keep busy and rush thorugh life trying to escape the void that slowing down may bring…..and yet the void may be the very place where we meet with the deep peace we all long for?
    Eventually we may all come to realise that there is no use trying to outrun life and that if we sit still long enough we might just find that it is preferable to continually chasing our own tails and getting nowhere.

    • Thank you so much Jannietta, for your eloquent comment. I love when you say,”I think that slowing down brings up the fear that this moment is not enough and so we keep busy and rush thorugh life trying to escape the void that slowing down may bring…..and yet the void may be the very place where we meet with the deep peace we all long for?” This is also what I have come to believe. Every Blessing.

  • Pamela Heady says:

    As I read your post I think about the times I’ve been rushing to get from point A to point B – and the frustration I feel when the cars in front of me can’t speed up or get out of my way. There are times though, when I realize that maybe I just don’t need to be in a hurry and that perhaps I’m being forced to slow down for a reason. I’ve driven up on accidents that have just happened and seen law enforcement officers that I would’ve flown by had I not been slowed down by another car in front of me. It’s a somewhat silly example of your post but it has made me slow down…and not just on the highway but in life in general.

    • Not silly in the least, Pamela! I think it’s profoundly insightful to realize that perhaps, at times, we are being slowed down for a reason, so as not to miss the moment. Thank you for sharing your experience here.

  • Arleen says:

    Being in a rush to get through life I think has a lot do with age. When we are young, we can’t wait to get to the age of 21. We want to be adults. Then we want to move at the fast pace while in our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. When you reach your 60’s you decide it is time to smell the roses as life has passed by in such a rapid speed. You look at your life very differently when you are older and you are not so in hurry to rush through everything.

    • I think we’ve been so conditioned to rush and be rushed, that even older folks are in a hurry. I say this because, Jim, the man I refer to in my blog, is an older man. The cashier who whisked me aside before my coins were put away, is an older woman. She was probably trained to work that way, though. I do agree with you Arleen, some folks, look at life differently, and become more mentally present in their physical surroundings as they get older. Slowing down to appreciate the moment, I believe is more a matter of consciousness, than a matter of age, meaning it can be taught, learned or remembered at any age, which I believe would add value to one’s quality of life.

  • Jason B says:

    I’m not sure why, but a lot of people are in a rush. We need to slow down and enjoy the moment. As I near age 30 I am starting to understand that more and more.

  • Jeri says:

    As a former English teacher, one reason I no longer care to be in the classroom is because of the amount of material that is expected to be covered with such little depth. The common core standards are helping somewhat, but many of education’s ills are just a reflection of what’s not working in our world.

    • Yes it is true on every level I believe, including education and perhaps even starting with education as well as politics and the media, that we do not generally encourage standards which involve learning or experiencing at one’s own pace. Thank you Jeri, for your input.

  • Susan Cooper says:

    We live in a world where we think there isn’t enough time in the day. it is sad but we are conditioned like this. I hope we can slow down and really focus on what is really important. Recently I was able to slow down and really experience some wonderful time with some good friends. It was much needed. 🙂

  • Cassi says:

    I don’t know that it’s necessarily being in a rush but I just don’t like being in long lines, especially after a strenuous work day. My husband likes standing in line even less; he tends to find a line and leave me there to go out and smoke or go to the bathroom. When driving, I hate being stuck in traffic, even if I’m not really going anywhere. I think that’s more because my leg tends to start cramping up sitting still too long.

    • I agree that being stuck in traffic can be a waste of time, without a good conversation, audiobook, or radio station. It is also a waste of money and fuel. Long lines can also dissuade me from shopping (other than online). I live in a small town, however. That said, I wrote about this subject because it seems like a lost opportunity to simply slow down and look around, when people complain about a short line, or I am whisked aside without a kind word, as I’m putting away my coins, because there is one person waiting behind me.

  • Joanne says:

    Yes, I like to savor the good moments however I think there are some moments I prefer to rush through so I could go back to savoring the good ones. 🙂 I think Jim was lucky to meet you on line, not everyone is that friendly.

    • Thanks for your comment, Joanne. There are so many “good moments,” if only we would choose to create them by seeing life with broader vision. I believe being on my own a lot has taught me the value of being friendly. Waiting on line in a store in your local town, is as much a community activity, in a sense, as joining a local group. There are so many opportunities to connect with people. Even smiling at a stranger can have a big impact on making both your day and theirs, a little better.

  • Great post. As youngsters, we were in a hurry for different reasons. We wanted birthdays, Christmas, Summers season, etc. to get here fast, for obvious reasons. Now that we are older, we tend to rush things, as we don’t seem to have that much time. We want to accomplish, leave a great legacy, live out our dreams, and expectations. Someone said, that at a certain age, we don’t have much time left. I’m older, but I do stop and smell the roses. My attitude is, “I’ll get there eventually.” Blessings.

    • Thank you for your input, Dr. Johnny Velazquez. If at a certain age, we seem to not have as much time, wouldn’t it make better sense to slow down and really be present with our experience. I like your attitude, “I’ll get there eventually.” A question worth asking oneself might be, “And if I don’t get there eventually, how much will it really matter and to whom?” A lot of what people think is important, fades in significance when questioned in this manner. Every Blessing to you as well.

  • I agree! In this era where expected response times are a nano-second, it seems as if I am rushed all the time. I hate the feeling….I fight it all the time. I am always whispering to myself…breathe….breathe. But if I don’t answer an email in a day, I get bombarded with…are you okay? I think it’s time to change people’s expectations. 🙂 I used to wait a few weeks for a response from a letter, right?

    • I totally agree, Jacquie. Don’t fight it. Just breathe. This is your LIFE. Respect yourself and allow yourself some space. You can do it in a kind way, without being rude to others. What we think of ourselves is much more important than what others think of us, and by living this way, their expectations just might change.

  • Judy Haar says:

    I think all that you say is realized as you age. When you are young, time travels quickly for another reason, too much to do, too much to accomplish. As we age, time travels quickly because there is so little left of it, but the quality means so much more. Have the time to pay it forward, to talk with people , to enjoy the daisies we blow past in our youth. Thank you for your article

    • I appreciate your insight, Judy Haar. Perception changes as we age, I agree. It is also true that some younger people are highly focused on their present moment interactions, not just with others, but with themselves and with nature. I think regardless of age, it mainly has to do with conscious awareness which can occur at any age. Turning off the TV and even the music and sitting in silence helps. Meditation helps me immeasurably to live in the moment.

  • By any chance are you more extroverted? I’m an introvert, and for me, striking up conversations with strangers is one of those kind of energy vampire situations, taking more out of me than charging me up. But on the other side of that, if I am in the elevator with a friend and THEY strike up the conversation with someone else, I will join up.

    To you bigger point, you are spot on with most of us being in a rush. In some ways technology is taking up down that path. I can remember in business (this will date me) what we did BEFORE faxes. Now we want a proposal or contract to get to our email box within a few seconds.

    The most recent event that has once again given me a proverbial 2X4 on the head about being in the moment, is losing my poodle of 16 years. Pets hold some of the secret to being in joy every minute, and having that be in the moment.

    Thanks for the valuable insights Michele.

    • Hi Pat,

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your poodle. I have been a poodle owner for most of my life. It is true that dogs can teach us a great deal about living joyfully in the present moment.

      Technology feeds directly into keeping us rushed and distracted, I agree. Many if not most of us, may not stop to consider whether it really matters, if we simply let things sit a bit.

      Why not create a more quality experience, rather than having a greater quantity of experiences?

      When we are present in a caring and authentic way, the quality of our experiences, will be experienced in greater quantity.

      As far as my being an extrovert, every morning, I set a daily intention for myself. This is not an intention to achieve something. It is the intention to BE something. I discuss this in great detail in my book, From Confusion To Clarity. For example, if today I am Being gratitude, I tend notice more things for which to be grateful, and to compliment people more readily because of the things I appreciate. If today I am being peacefulness, I may not talk much at all, but will tend to feel more present, observant, and relaxed.

      This idea originates from the teachings of Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God whose more than 20 books, I highly recommend.

  • TheGirl says:

    In our society if you’re not busy making money then you’re wasting time. Books do make great holiday gifts…

    • Thank you for your brief comment, TheGirl. In our society, we are taught to think for ourselves. Is it really a waste of time to not be busy making money? Could this really be the ultimate purpose of life? Is it more important than how we regard one another? I think not.

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