The one good reason to rush

Photo Credit: Beryl Ayn Young


Every week for this year, I am offering a mindful challenge designed to get you practicing living a more awakened  life. This is Week 30 of {Project 52} Stay Awake. You are welcome to join in anytime during this year-long mindful living photo project. Please upload your photos to our Project 52: Stay Awake Flickr group so we can see what an Awake life means for you. And, if you also use Instagram please use the hashtag #awakeproject13.

I rush around a lot.

It must drive my husband crazy. He’s the kind of guy who would saunter out of a burning building, whistling.

I’ll be frantic just trying to get to the car, finally, to see Shakespeare in the Park. He’ll be sauntering, and whistling.

But, hear me out. I offer the one good reason to rush.

First, here are two scenarios to consider.

Scenario 1 — I’m rushed, packing my lunch at the last minute, and the kids cannot find their shoes. We should have left 10 minutes ago but now everyone’s in tears. When we finally get into the car, practically out of breath, I feel like I could either cry or take a nap.

Scenario 2 — I got up early and got everything done before the kids even wake up. I even sat and drank a little coffee and wrote a little bit in my journal. When the kids wake, I am ready to greet them and able and willing to help give those extra four braids my daughter often requests at the last minute. We leave early and arrive to school so early that I have time to tell them a story.

Which sounds better to you?

I used to get very cranky when I knew we we’re going to be late for anything. I have been an early bird my whole life. Not just prompt but rather on time feels late. I’m getting over it, though … because there’s also beauty in letting go.

The reason I would get so cranky about arriving on time or late is because there is beauty in the waiting. There is magic in getting to a place and having time to soak it all in. There is connection in the small talk you can make with others who are also waiting.

This is just one of the ways I practice daily zen in my life. The more time and space I allow, the more I’m able to live in the moment more naturally and freely.

All reason points to one little fact — that with children, we just cannot be early for anything. And, there are times when that is the case. It can be seriously challenging to get out the door on time for anything with children. It doesn’t seem to matter the age, they just have a natural tendency to forget things and remember things at very inconvenient times. They need to change shoes, then clothes because they see their sibling has on a shirt they want to match and they need to suddenly add a ponytail.

But, I have found that when I’m up early, when I’m working ahead to arrive early, we’re out the door easier. It’s as if the stress of the rushing has vanished and we can just operate at a natural speed. It’s a treat when it happens that way. It doesn’t always … but when it does I appreciate that temporary feeling of contentedness.


Dan with horseshoe crab

A favorite recent memory of arriving early was during our beach vacation. We trekked through the sandy beach right down to the ocean bright and early one morning. In fact, we had just watched the sunrise at 5:40 a.m. As we showed up long before any others, the beauty was everywhere … from a bucket full of seashells we oohed and ahed over, to a horseshoe crab to the smooth, cool sand that no one had yet stepped foot in. It was one of our most amazing moments all week, and it was our first day.

This week, your Project 52: Stay Awake challenge is pretty simple: arrive early. Plan to be early. And, when you are there, waiting around, notice what’s happening. When you get wherever you need to be, notice what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Watch as your children enjoy the moment not rushing as well.

Here’s a tip from Photo Mama Beryl on making the most of that extra time with your camera: I am a planner by nature and joke with my friends that I can never show up fashionably late. I take this same approach with my photo taking too. Anything I can do to plan ahead (in my brain or on paper) for the types of photos I envision, helps immensely once I’m in the moment. Try to write yourself a little ‘shot list’ next time you go out to play and see if the pre-planning helps you capture the memories you’re after. If you need help getting your shot list started, you can pick up your free worksheet from Beryl’s site.


bay_sidebar-badge_radiate_250x250:: By the way, my friend Beryl is offering a great self-care class for Mamas with cameras. And, she’s starting off with a fantastic free e-course once again. It’s a great time to check out her latest offering Radiate


One Response to The one good reason to rush

Make your own rules and set your own boundaries by creating Your Abundant Mama Guiding Philosophy!

Shawn Fink - Abundant MamaFrom Our Founder

I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »
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