I think it started when I was a little girl trying to keep pace with my dad. I practically had to run to keep up with his fast walking. It didn't help that he was 6' 4" tall and took long strides.
In high school I remember my friends asking me more than once why I was walking so fast as I zipped in and out of the mob to make it to my next class.
Recently it has been my husband and stepson that ask. My husband asked once, "why did you leave me? Can we walk together?"
On days when I work in New York I have to walk about 15 minutes from the train station to my office. I always speed walk there too, passing everyone in front of me.
Ditto for restroom breaks and going to pick up lunch. Why?
It's not just walking either. It's also eating fast, rushing through my mornings, anxiously shaking my leg while sitting still, ripping through my RSS reader.
Yesterday morning a song popped in to my head. It's an old Alabama song that says:
I'm in a hurry to get things done
I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die,
but I'm in a hurry and don't know why.
So yesterday in the many (many, many) times I found myself rushing, I made a conscious effort to slow down.
When I realized I rushed through the first block of my walk, I let up a bit for the last three. Rather than devouring my lunch, I took time to taste the flavors that made up my salad. When I left my desk, I walked at a more "normal" pace.
Midday a bunch of emails came in to my inbox while I was still replying to one. Rather than rushing through them all at once, I took care of a few then switched to another task before returning to take care of a few more.
This fast pace must be deeply ingrained in me because I had to remind myself to act more consciously a lot throughout the day.
I feel that if I can make this shift in behavior I may feel calmer all around.
Does anyone else have this problem? Feel free to share in the comments. I'm curious how you remind yourself to slow down.