The Goddess Speaks
Know when it’s time to hit brakes
I1 got a speeding ticket the other day. I was clocked doing 63 in a 45 mph zone.
Oh, the irony. My friends laughed when I told them. I'm the slowest driver around. The queen of caution.
But that day, I was indeed speeding. There's no disputing either that or the ticket. I was racing to a meeting between teaching classes and making sure I had enough gas to drive the afternoon car pool for extracurricular activities.
I considered explaining the extenuating circumstance of my overbooked life to the officer, hoping he would be driven to let me off with a warning. But he didn't look like the sympathetic type. So I buckled down and prayed it wouldn't take too long.
I was tempted to be mad at him. Doesn't he have something better to do? Aren't there REAL crimes that need his attention? But I knew better. I was only mad at myself.
Other things happened, too.
I stopped at Longs at 7 a.m. to pick up a few items so I could avoid running errands after work. At the checkout I realized that my wallet was in the car, so I rushed out to get it. The line sure grew while I was gone for "just a minute." I apologized to the nice people behind me for making them wait, but I could tell that they were in a hurry, too.
Then there's the near miss in the parking lot because I backed out of the space without looking carefully behind me. Now that would have been a real bummer.
I also forgot to buy my fourth-period class pizza as I had promised. About halfway through the period, one of the girls politely asked when the pizza was coming. OOPS. I totally forgot. I was so busy grading papers, supervising projects and following up on conferences that it completely slipped my mind. "I'm sorry," I told them and promised it for the next day. They were nice about it. But I know they were disappointed.
No wonder I got a ticket. It was a sign. Not necessarily to stop driving so fast, but to slow down in general. I have been trying to do way too much, and it shows. There is no way that I can continue to pack so many things into my schedule. I will have to just let some of it go.
But when I find myself apologizing several times in one day to complete strangers for taking up more space in this world than is my due and writing a check for $147 to pay a fine simply because I have bit off entirely more than I can chew, it is clearly time to slow down, take a deep breath and consider the limits -- mine and the ones posted on the road.
If I rush through life at lightning speed, just to get things done, I will eventually crash and burn. I might never have a chance to simply enjoy the ride.
Lorraine Gershun is publications adviser for Searider Productions at Waianae High School.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
Honolulu 96813 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.