Have you ever had those days, weeks, or months where you try to think back on what you did and you can’t remember a thing? I do. And I’ve had them quite a lot recently. So I recently decided to slow things down a bit and try to eliminate hurry in my life.
I had a great Sunday this past weekend! My day started around 6:30am when our two young daughters were running back and forth in the upstairs hallway giggling. They were anxiously waiting for us to open the gate so they could go downstairs. As always, the morning started with breakfast right away for the girls while they watched some kids’ show on the kitchen TV. As I walked downstairs, the smell of pancakes and bacon drifted through the house, which I love! I entered the kitchen where my wife was making her breakfast sandwich. The girls were in their same seats as always at the kitchen table. “Hi Daddy!” screamed one daughter. “Mommy, Daddy is here!” screamed my other daughter. Hearing that and seeing the excitement on their faces never gets old. I gave out my good morning kisses and went on with my morning.
Opening all the curtains in the house, I noticed it was a beautiful summer morning. I could hear the birds chirping outside. My day usually starts with a 20oz coffee from Wawa, and this time I decided to ask my daughters if they wanted to go. “Yes!” they screamed with excitement. “WAWA!” WAWA!” they repeated running around the kitchen. Of course, we had to find the perfect summer dresses and fancy shoes to go to Wawa. During the very short ride there, we jammed out to Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry.” I was impressed that both my daughters knew most of the words! Luckily it was the edited version or I probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.
We entered Wawa, and both girls darted to the cold drink area, as if they knew exactly what they wanted, and they did! My youngest daughter shouted out in a loud, high pitch scream, “Found ’em!” It was the Good2Grow drinks with the character heads on top. One daughter wanted the Moana drink, and the other picked the Ariel drink. You would have thought they hit the lottery! Both girls were skipping and dancing around Wawa, following me to the coffee station, and I just remember smiling.
After making my coffee, we had one last stop at the doughnut section where we grabbed two doughnuts, and again the girls were elated. “Wait, Daddy,” said my oldest daughter. “We need to get Mommy something.” She walked over to the shelf with a grin and picked up Peanut Butter TastyKakes to go. I thought that was very thoughtful of her, and let her know that was very nice to think of Mommy.
Once we got back to the house, the girls showed off their treats to my wife, and enjoyed their second breakfast of doughnuts. I went out back with my coffee, swept the porch, wiped down the tables, and put the cushions on our patio furniture. I laid down on the sofa out back, and just enjoyed the morning. It was so quiet. All I could hear was the birds, and the tall trees blowing in the wind. I was enjoying the moment and felt grateful to have a nice backyard to enjoy this summer morning. I felt calm, and was glad we had no real plans for the day.
About 30 minutes later, I decided to go to the gym. My wife and daughters were out on the front porch wiping down the railings and the rocking chairs. The cutest little helpers gave me big hugs as I got in my car and took a short drive to go workout. I just recently bought Apple Airpods, which was a life altering event for me. I felt pretty special to run and lift with no wires hanging, but played it cool of course. Meek Mill was my music of choice for my 15 minutes of cardio, and then I switched to 90’s hip hop for the rest of my 40 minute workout. I was feeling really good, and might have lost sight that I was surrounded by others while rapping to Warren G “Regulate” lyrics. Needless to say, I was hyped up.
I was hoping to go home to a quiet house, but plans changed. My daughters didn’t want to go to Lowe’s with my wife anymore, and wanted to stay home with me. It was a hot and sunny day outside, so we decided to set up the sprinkler and enjoy the afternoon. After several failed attempts of putting their bathing suits on, we were finally ready to go. I took out the Bose stereo speaker, put on some dance party music, and watched my daughters run through the sprinkler for a good hour.
They were so happy and having so much fun. A few times, they asked me to change the setting on the sprinkler, which I did, and of course got soaked. They got a kick out of it and laughed hysterically. I’m pretty sure they were asking me to do it on purpose, but it was all good! We dried off in the hot sun, and my wife returned from Lowe’s just in time to help me get them inside and changed again.
The girls were tired from being outside. They grabbed a snack and planted on the couch to watch a movie. My wife was upstairs doing laundry, and I snuck back outside with a new book called “Give and Take” by Adam Grant. I laid on the patio sofa for a good 45 minutes enjoying this book. It was still hot, but I was in the shade and it was still very quiet. I just remember feeling very relaxed. While reading, I heard a little knock at the door, and it was my oldest 4-year old daughter, who wanted to join me. I went inside and grabbed 2 books for her.
She sat next to me and read with me. At this point, it was too hard for me to concentrate, but I continued to relax and listened to her make words up to tell her own story, which made me laugh. Every minute, she kept asking me, “What page are you on?” I told her to just enjoy the book, we’re not racing. She said “I know its not a race, but what page are you on?” Clearly, this was a race in her mind, and she obviously won. When I told her I was on page 32, and she was on page 41, she let out a loud “Ha! I’m beating you!”
I went inside for a minute to check the Phillies score, and saw my youngest daughter sleeping peacefully on the couch. Of course, I stared at her for a minute just smiling. I then went upstairs to see what my wife was up to and she was napping in our oldest daughters bed. I laughed and thought of how lucky I am and what a great Sunday I was having with my family. The Phillies had just won, the house was quiet, and we were enjoying a gorgeous summer day.
About a half-hour later, both my wife and youngest daughter woke up from their naps and it was time to start thinking about dinner. It was time to grill! My wife, who is 5 months pregnant, was at the grill cooking chicken and peppers. My daughters were playing pretend grill with their little outdoor kitchen set. And I was sitting listening to Bob Marley singing “Three Little Birds” over the speakers, I took it all in. At this point, I actually began to feel emotional. Looking at my wife with her pregnant belly and watching my daughters play together brought me such internal joy. We sat down at the patio table and enjoyed a nice meal together for about 3 minutes. Then one daughter swiveled out of her chair, and the other wanted to chase her along.
Soon, it was time get the girls into their pajamas and get ready for bed. I made a friendly bargain with my wife. I said, “If you take them to bed, I’ll do the dishes.” I put my Apple Airpods back in, while I was doing the dishes, and turned on a podcast called “Positive University” with Jon Gordon. He is a famous author and keynote speaker who specializes in leadership and teamwork. In this particular episode, Jon was interviewing the Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the University of Virginia, Tony Bennett. Virginia had just won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, after losing in historical fashion the year before.
They were the first #1 seed in NCAA tournament history to lose to a #16 seed. In his conversation with Jon Gordon, he talked about winning the championship, but more importantly what truly matters in his life. His family, his faith, and his players. Whether losing to a #16 seed team, and being publicly humiliated by the media, or bouncing back the next year and winning the National Championship, that didn’t define Tony Bennett. “You need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” was a quote he read by a man named Dallas Willard, who was an American Philosopher. Coach Bennett spoke on that quote for a few minutes, and I had an “Aha” moment while doing the dishes!
My Sunday was great because I wasn’t in a hurry! I was present in everything that day, and genuinely felt emotions throughout the day. My day was filled with family time, working out, relaxing, reading, cleaning, and hopefully making a positive impact with my wife and two daughters. I actually sat down and had 3 meals. That in itself is amazing to me. My head was calm all day and I had zero anxiety. I wasn’t thinking about yesterday OR thinking about tomorrow. I was just genuinely happy with what was going on now.
Laying my head on my pillow that night, I was so grateful for this Sunday. The problem was the entire month of July leading up to this point was a blur. I was rushing out the door with a breakfast bar, working 12-14 hour days, rushing from one task to another, too busy to actually listen to anyone, skipping lunch, almost unaware of time clicking endlessly away. Unable to stay in the present, I was hurrying around and too preoccupied with my next move. It was all about the outcome of the day, the week, or the month.
I thought to myself, “Is this what truly matters?” And the answer for me is no. I want to be able to teach, coach, and impact those that I work with. Being able to listen to my wife when I get home about her day is important to me. Spending quality time with my daughters is crucial. I want to take that feeling that I experienced this past Sunday and take it with me the rest of the week. My goal is to “ruthlessly try to eliminate hurry from my life” so I can be a better leader, a better husband, and a better father.
How do you eliminate hurry in your life? Comment below or contact me to let me know!