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Rush vs. Stop – A Lesson

February 15, 2012

We are worth more than the result of our efforts.

Henri Nouwen

I am a hurried person. I cannot be slow. I do not linger, or hesitate, often. I do not sit, for long. I do not loiter, ever. I am always in a rush. My nature does not love tedium or solitude. I love action, and productivity, and yes, I love speed.

Always urging them on. “Let’s go! C’mon! Hurry up!”

I am always in a rush.

But when tired becomes more than sleepy and leaks from my bones, soaking my joints and my mind with a fatigue that is not cured simply by sleep,  I find that I have to stop.

The pressure to perform and produce – the weight of expectation pulls me down and in until my shoulders are curled and my spine aches with the burden I alone have placed upon my back.

I cannot continue moving so fast. My body cries out for rest, for time, but the duties never ending and clothes need washing and boys need washing and hungry mouths and eager arms demand more and I simply do not have enough.

Stop. Stop and sit. Pull a boy into my lap and wrap my arms around him twice and stop. Stop and kiss sticky cheeks, Valentine sweets still lingering. Stop. Stop and say goodbye in the morning with a hug and a cuddle and not a harried wave from the window.

Work will wait. The laundry will wait – for awhile. I am not superhuman, just mom, and I am enough just as I am as long as I learn the how and the when and the need and the want and the yes and the no to stop.

After all these words, thousands of them, I still forget – I don’t have to be perfect. I once read, and I wish I could remember where, that of all the balls women juggle so frantically there is but one, and only one, that is made of glass and will shatter if left to fall. And that is family. The others – they will bounce, and rebound, and soon we’ll catch them again and it will be of no matter. But the one that does matter, family, must be cherished and sheltered at all costs.

So I stop. And I hug my fragile family tight, and the other balls, they fall around me and begin to bounce and roll and for now…

I just ignore them while I stop.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2012 6:52 pm

    Beautifully put! The sooner we can learn to let go of expectations, perfectionism and anything but that beautiful, glistening glass ball, the better off we’ll be. You wrote this beautifully. Thank you.

  2. February 15, 2012 8:30 pm

    This piece gas such beautiful symmetry, very well done Adelle.

  3. February 16, 2012 7:39 am

    Beautiful! I SO understand. SO so so get the urgency, hurry, rush…and opposition to lingering, hesitating, loitering, and “tedium” (such a word!)

    So thrilled you’re learning this while your babies are young enough for your changes to protect your entire family.

  4. February 16, 2012 10:12 am

    True, this. Family is the only irreplaceable. The other balls…bounce.

  5. February 16, 2012 11:19 am

    This is great Adelle. I’ve been feeling this way lately, I don’t have enough time to do anything. I want to spend more time just playing with the kids, but then other things don’t get done. I’ve stopped being annoyed when the baby wakes up too early and instead go in and rock him, because we’ve only got them that little for so long. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Holly permalink
    February 20, 2012 12:32 pm

    Pat B., my neighbor, passed along your blog to me today. She’s speaks so highly of you and I can see why. Thanks for this inspiring post. Off to play with my little one…

  7. Bethany Hall Fitelson permalink
    September 24, 2013 4:23 pm

    That glass ball analogy is perfect. Thanks for that reminder!

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