For My Penance, I Will Slow Down

I live a life fueled by adrenalin with a side of anxiety.

In short, I don’t do “slow.”

Just ask my poor husband, who strolls, ambles, and meanders along–10 feet behind the rest of the family because apparently all the kids inherited my inability to decelerate.

I’m always looking for a way to get something done–or to get somewhere–a little faster. I don’t take the highway to Little Brother’s school because that adds half a mile and about 7 traffic lights to the trip. I can get there more quickly if I drive through the neighborhoods.

Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw once tweeted:

muffet mcgraw tweet

That’s pretty much how I roll too. And yesterday on my way to Mass at Little Brother’s school (so I could be there for his test-and-dose diabetic routine after Mass) I was driving pretty urgently.

As in 41 mph in a 25 zone.

By the time I saw the police SUV, it was too late. He saw me first and followed me to the school parking lot where I foolishly parked in my usual spot–in full view of half the classrooms.

Did I mention that the police officer had his lights on?

I was polite. He took my license, registration and insurance card and went off to check SCMODS* to verify that I’d never had a speeding ticket in over 30 years of driving.

The officer, mercifully, did not give me a ticket–just a warning that I need to slow down.

Honestly, the embarrassment of being pulled over right in front of the school cost me more than any speeding ticket would have.

So what was I saying Thursday about the hours in the day?

…this Lent is going to be all about letting go of–giving up–the control I want to have over the hours in my day. Resistance is futile, but acceptance is going to be hard-won…

I feel like I go through the day always putting out fires. I only get to what’s urgent, and it’s a struggle not to assign everything to the “urgent” category. Writing these words, I can feel myself clenching up inside.

I’m on a “mission from God.” So is the police officer who handed me some grace in the form of a warning.

*”State. County. Municipal. Offender. Data. System.” If you do not recognize this quote, you need to watch The Blues Brothers. Stat.

One thought on “For My Penance, I Will Slow Down

  1. My five children are all grown now, but I do remember, very clearly, feeling overwhelmed and over-stressed. At that point I made a conscious effort to take inventory of my “must do’s”, and see what could be taken off the list. I did not want my children to remember their childhood as being in the car, and I also did not want them to remember me as being so stressed out. It is important to be good to yourself – if you aren’t, who will be? Now that I am nearing the ripe old age of…60, I am realizing that it is important to do something that I enjoy, to relax and show that I care enough about myself to have “me” time. When I turn off the switch, stop trying to prove to myself or anyone else that I can do it all, that’s when I feel the day melting away. You are so many things to so many people, all of which are wonderful. A little bit of fine-tuning the to-do list may be all that is needed!

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