Last month I had a wake-up call. I was rushing from a fitting to a casting, trying to make it onto a bus to New Jersey that only ran a few times a day. I was speed-walking down the street, whipping around people with an unattractive scowl on my face. I didn’t like that I was doing this and almost stopped to just reschedule. But as time got closer I only sped up. And then I tripped. On an escalator in Port Authority in New York City, arguably the worst place in the world to slice open the bottom of your foot and bleed all over. A janitor yelled at me for getting blood on the floor. Oh New York.
12 stitches and a rescheduled casting later, the rushing hadn’t mattered. What did matter was that I couldn’t walk on my foot for a good two weeks. It was a very painful reminder of something that I already knew – that rushing, in any sense of the word, is no damn good.
We all know that rushing is inherently detrimental. Rushing is what causes things to be overlooked, problems and fuck-ups to occur, creative sparks to be missed. But, our culture also highly values productivity. Potentially even more than it values happiness. The more you can get done, the farther ahead you are, the more money you have, the more stability you have. Creativity and productivity often seem to lay on opposite poles. How do you walk the line?
I think the answer is compassionately. You do what you can with what you have and know that it’s enough for today. You understand that truly wonderful things truly take time. You stop comparing yourself to others and instead put your head down and do good work. You are kind to yourself above all else. You realize that those sparks in life that we all chase after come from purposefully slowing down, not speeding up.
“Once you stop rushing through life, you will be amazed how much more life you have time for.”
“I regret less the road not taken than my all-fired hurry along the road I took.”
“Remember the great adversity of art or anything else is a hurried life.”
“Good and quickly seldom meet.”
“Don’t run, don’t rush. Just flow.”