The clock said 4:59 and I started to panic.
I raced down the stairs, knocking my kneecap against the door jamb on the way down. And then hobbled on in to the kitchen. Where I took a second to size up the situation. The crabs weren’t caked. The watermelons weren’t wedged. And the corn had most certainly not been breaded. And our annual fourth of July party was beginning in exactly one minute.
So I did the only thing I could do. I rushed to the sink and started filling milk bottles with bunches of flowers. When in doubt, distract them with pretty things.
I broke stems of carnations with my bare hands. I may or may not have even torn into a few with my two front teeth. And then I jammed them into the bottles with no rhyme or reason. Just the design of a crazy person. I flipped the water faucet on to its highest pressure and shoved the first bottle under the spout. Where clinging by a final thread, I realized to my horror that the faster the water was coming out, the less was actually making it into the bottle. Ninety percent of it was running down the sides, and the little bit that was making it in was causing twice as much to splash back out.
So I took a deep breath, and slowed everything down. And just like that, sure and steady, that bottle started to fill up. I could see it with my own two eyes.
But with each arriving guest, panic would set in all over again. And being a person who never seems to learn from her mistakes the first time, I’d crank that faucet all the way up again in the hopes that this time would be different. That this time more and faster would win out. Because in my world, more and faster are king.
But as you might have guessed by now, every time I tried to rush it- every time I tried to get more in less time, I ended up getting nowhere and having to start back over at square one. To slow down and try again.
And all that slowing down gave me some time to think.
I think life is a lot like that bottle. You can only take in so much at time. And when you try to go too fast, you’ll probably end up missing most of it. So when it feels like you need to rush to get to where you want to be, that you need to take on more and more to make it happen, just take a step back and see if it’s actually working.
Because trust me on this, sure and steady wins the race.
And life, just like those milk bottles, gets so much fuller if you’ll just slow down.