The other day I hit the snooze button a few times too many. With each hit, I convinced myself that 1) the 5 minutes I'd get until the next time the alarm went off would be good sleep, even with my cats jumping on me and urging me to pet them and 2) I'd have plenty of time to both get ready for work and run a pre-work errand when I did get up. Only when I finally dragged myself out of bed did I realize the error of my sleepy logic. The race began.
I got out of the shower right around the time I'd planned to leave the house. Seeing the time, I felt my back begin to tense up. I rushed around the house and was out the door pretty quickly, but was already running late. I got my errand done and realized... my phone was at home.
"Turn around, go back home, get the phone, and call work to let them know you'll be a few minutes late." Now, I already knew many of the people I'm now working with and they are wonderful understanding people. Nevertheless, I didn't think it would be a good idea to arrive late on only my second day.
Once I had my phone, I called the office phone. Voicemail.
I then tried a friend/coworker. Voicemail.
Another friend/coworker. Voicemail.
Office phone. Again. I listened to the menu options and hoped I'd choose the right extension to reach an actual person to let them know my situation. These calls were all happening while I was trying to navigate through traffic. Thankfully, there were no harrowing moments.
With my second office call, I chose an extension, and waited. A non-recorded voice answered!
"I'm running late, but I'm on my way!"
"Do you have your laptop with you? The IT guy is going to be in and if you're still en route, maybe you should go get your computer, so he can configure it for remote access to our server."
I hung up, turned around and went back home for the second time. I knew I would miss morning prayer at work, a ritual I greatly appreciate, and don't like to miss.
I ran into the house and picked up my computer. I got in my car to leave my house for the third time in 45 minutes.
"I may as well stop rushing around and try to enjoy the drive to work. The sun's out, trees are green, flowers are blooming. Look around! Notice these things!"
I pulled out my Simon and Garfunkel CD and cued it to... The 59th Street Bridge Song.
"Slow down, you move too fast,
You've got to make the morning last..."
The previous day's morning prayer had focused on being in the moment, in not wishing away days, in anticipation of whatever might be next.
I had spent the first 45 minutes of " going to work" worried about what would happen when I got there.
Maybe I should've figured it out the first time I turned around to go back home. Maybe the second turn around should have clued me in, but I felt even more frazzled when I headed home that time. It was only when I got in my car the third time I left the house that I got the message.
Slow down. There's no need to rush. Enjoy the day.
When I got to work, an hour after I left home the first time ( it's a 10 to 15 minute drive from my house), I felt relaxed. During my last trip, I drove slower and focused on the beauty that surrounded me and the beauty that flowed in and out of me in the form of music. For most of my drive, I sang right along with Paul and Art.
I slowed down. I arrived at work feeling calm and ready to work, very different from my leaving-home self.
I am thankful for the not-always-appreciated-in-the-moment reminders to hit the brakes. I sometimes forget that life is more enjoyable when I pay more attention to now than to what may lie ahead. Life is much nicer when I take the time to actually notice it.
Slow down, you move too fast...