How much time do you have?
This morning we headed up to Stillwater with my parents to have lunch at Eskimo Joe's. It was a quick trip due to the fact that oldest had to be at work after lunch, but it was a good trip. By the time I got home I ran some errands and learned a great lesson. How much time do you have?
We got to Eskimo Joe's right when it opened for lunch. We were actually there a little early purchasing sweatshirts next door, but we were the first customers in when the door opened. We had an hour to eat lunch, which we thought was plenty of time. Apparently we had the slowest waiter on earth, and we took the entire hour. I had absolutely no patience with the boy, and watched his every move while we were there. Yes, I talked with my parents and had a good time, but I always had an eye to see the boy go talk with his friends, read the newspaper, and disappear for a bit of time. Our drinks sat empty, we waited for half an hour to order, and barely walked out of the restaurant on time after hailing him down for our check. It was not the nice relaxed lunch I thought it would be.
When I got home I ran to the post office and the grocery store. Yes, Christmas Eve Eve I hit those two places. I had plenty of time, so I wasn't worried or stressed. I let someone go in front of me at the Post Office, but barely waited for my package. Then at the store I doubled back through half the aisles 2-3 times because I kept forgetting items. I sang the Christmas songs that were playing through the store, so it didn't bother me. Then waiting in line, they tried to let me move up to the shorter line, the customer service area. I didn't have much, but I didn't feel comfortable going there for some reason. So, I pulled behind an older woman as she emptied her cart. Long story short, we had a nice conversation, she gave me a sweet smile, and I was in my car about 20 minutes later. A little longer than I had hoped, but I wasn't stressed. It was a much more relaxed trip than I thought it would be.
This is when the lesson hit me. My attitude was based not on the actions of others, but on how much time I felt I had. The more scheduled we are, the less likely we will have patience with someone who needs a little help, or share a conversation with someone when we are trying to walk out the door. Now, sometimes we simply can't help being a time watcher, but maybe we all need to try to allow a little more time for things to happen in our life. If I could have given an extra half hour for lunch I wouldn't have been so stressed about how long it was taking to get our food. And if I had less time for the grocery store I probably wouldn't have even spoken to the dear woman who crossed paths with me today.
What are we missing out on when we get so rushed to hurry to the next thing?
As this Christmas Season continues my goal is to give myself a little extra time as I do things. I'm hoping to more enjoy the moments I'm waiting for, and be surprised by the moments I don't know are coming. Well, maybe not just for this season. Maybe into the new year as well.