What’s the Hurry?

What’s the Hurry?

I’m feeling pretty relaxed, trying to accept the things I discussed with my therapist this week (one of those crying sessions that I love and hate at the same time, and this one a real breakthrough I can actually work on!) and just going with the flow. I had started off with washing the oriental rug that we decided to put in the bedroom even though it takes a real mental stretch to believe it goes with the room. It’s a 5×8, not too heavy for me to lift. I hosed off the patio, laid down a sheet, then put the rug on top. Soaked the rug, poured on the Woolite, then did a little grape-stomping walk all over it to get the soap worked in and sudsy. Sounds like nothing, but I could feel the burn. Heh. I started to rinse with the hose, and while the rug was markedly cleaner, there were still some spots.

I had other things to do. I had to pick up my prescription sunglasses at the mall (my bifocals – ugh! – are on special order, two week wait). I had a huge grocery list and I wanted to do the shopping at Wegman’s because there was a lot of produce and organics (better quality, selection, and even price on those at W, believe it or not.) I wanted to have dinner ready early so Audrey could eat with us before band practice. I had a band parents’ meeting.

But then it struck me. I’m already doing this. I’m already wet, I have everything I need to do a good job, let’s see if I can get this rug a little cleaner. I don’t have to be home before the kids get back from school anymore, so if things run a little late, that’s fine. So I got out a scrub brush. I put soap on the brush and went for the spots. Then I realized it was actually easier to just push and drag the brush all over the rug than try to get just the spots. So I did. Now it was really looking better. I got in with the hose, and it was looking good, but rinsing it on a flat level surface (or worse, the patio. Heh) was just making it sit in the water instead of running off all the dirt and soap. What to do, what to do?

No long poles or two-by-fours. No idea where the sawhorses might be. Wait! Two plastic folding tables! Hoisted, pulled, adjusted, got the rug over the tables. This was going much better, with the water running off the rug. But still, large sections were flat on the tables. Look! Pool noodles! Got those underneath, and they lifted the rug off the flat surfaces. By the time I was done, the water was actually rinsing everything off, and the rug was looking great. This setup was good for washing, not so good for drying. When the rug was light enough to lift, though, I put it over the heavy duty drying rack mom brought me from Amish country and set up a fan. Yeah, still damp. Hubby suggested I use the carpet shampooer to suck out some of the moisture next time. If I can find a truly clean spot, I’ll do that next time. As much work as it is, I’d recommend it to anyone who’s got area rugs. Now that I see how clean it is, I realize how icky-dirty it was. Yuck.

That being done, I showered, dressed, and headed to the mall. Got the glasses, and was heading out. Wait! Sale at Old Navy, discount coupon for same in purse, let’s check it out! I don’t usually get a chance to just shop for clothes for myself, and I just did it and enjoyed it. Still no need to rush, still plenty of time to get groceries and cook. Relax.

Wegman’s sushi for lunch, nice trip with only one thing on the list not there (I know where I can get fresh bean sprouts close to home, though) and the kids still would see me shortly after the bus dropped them off. I was just going with the flow, letting things be, existing in the moment, all that good stuff, so even though there were only a few checkouts open and I’d have to wait in line, it was no big deal. The woman in front of me had a small order, and the woman in front of her was mostly done putting hers on the belt, anyway.

Quickly, though, another cashier opened up the register next to the one I was waiting for, and called me over. Rather than zipping over there, though, I tapped the woman in front of me and asked if she wanted to go first. Only fair, right? She was effusively grateful, and I kept telling her it was OK, I wasn’t in a hurry, she could take her time. You know, I really like being some stranger who brightens someone’s day. It doesn’t take a lot, but it can really change another person’s mood for the better.

Here’s the irony, though. I put my items on the belt the way I want them packed, so while the packaged stuff just gets scanned, and everything goes zip-zip-zip, the produce often has to get weighed and keyed. The cashier and I were chatting and joking about the unusual items, how hard it was to memorize all the PLUs in such a big store, and then I notice the old man who’s just put his items down behind me. His body language and his scowl clearly showed he was impatient and irritated, but I smiled at him anyway when the cashier said something funny. Instead of lightening up, he crossly informed me “You know, it would take less time if you weighed those vegetables in the produce aisle yourself.” I replied, “but I have so many!” “You’d save time if you did it yourself,” he insisted. I was puzzled for a moment, but then I realized what he really meant – I’d have saved him
time if I’d done it myself. How sad. If I’d been at a produce scale, weighing each thing and looking up the codes on the little roller (unlike the cashier, I have none of them memorized) would he have been behind me there, scowling and angry, because he had to wait for the scale?

If he’d been behind me before I’d loaded my order, I’d have let him in front of me. Would he have been as happy as the woman I did that for, or would he have been pleased only briefly? Is his rush an imaginary time constraint, self-imposed? Did he create it by trying to squeeze in an errand in a limited time-slot? Or is he one of those people who just has no patience for the rest of the world? Regardless, it only made me happier with my decision to be patient, accept the fact that I can’t do everything in a day (or a week, or whatever) and that taking a little more time or being late isn’t the end of the world. (Audrey didn’t get to eat with us, either. She did get a decent dinner, though. And another later on.) It’s way better than getting anxious or angry about having to wait your turn!