Opinion: I’m in a Hurry

By Dee Armstrong

I’m in a hurry to get things done.
I rush and rush until life’s no fun.
All I need to do is live and die.
I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.  Alabama

Our personal lifestyle here in Montana reflects a pace unknown to city dwellers. Even lacking the big cities, we find the rush of city life flurrying around us. With all the imports from Canada, California, and so many other places, people tend to bring their “in a hurry” attitude with them. In my opinion, that state of hurriedness brings all sorts of problems for everyone. And the attitude (“driven”) can agitate good health and certainly isn’t helpful for health issues. I believe God gave us the ability to handle some stress, but, when that stress is unnecessary, we’re foolish to push the envelope.

The first “hurry” that is most obvious is the speed limit. I don’t appreciate the guy or gal in front of me going 50 in a 65-mph speed limit. However, road and weather conditions should dictate the speed, as well as choice. In casual conversation, one lifelong Montanan said that people who drive 50 in a 65 should be ticketed. I responded with a question: “Do you know the definition of the word ‘limit’?” I asked him to keep in mind that the speed limit does not dictate the appropriate speed.

A coworker who was a retired state trooper once told me that being in a hurry was the routine excuse that he heard during all kinds of traffic violations and accidents. I refuse to provide any state with more revenue due to my ignoring its laws. It’s just not worth the stress or the money.

One time, I was called to jury duty. The defense attorney asked all of us prospective jurors who was a little nervous when we noticed a cop car behind us. All jurors raised their hands except me. He asked me individually, “You aren’t a bit nervous?” I replied, “Not at all. Just the opposite. When there’s a cop car around, every driver plays nice on the road. I love it.” The judge, the prosecutor, and the two policemen laughed out loud. Needless to say, the defense attorney gave me a thumbs-down. But I digress.

Yes, going too slow can cause a traffic issue, but I find tailgaters to be more of a safety hazard than those going slightly slower than we’d like, or under the speed limit. Many roads here have a 70-mph speed limit. One such road crosses a rather narrow bridge with a shoulder not wide enough to park a car. One day, I approached the bridge and saw a deer (boy, they are everywhere here) trapped on the bridge, trying to make its way across. Slow down? I surely did, but others coming the other direction did not. That was an “I’m -in-a-hurry” accident waiting to happen. There are lots of deer, and they don’t really cross where the sign says, “Wildlife Crossing.”  Let’s give them a ticket for jaywalking (deer-walking?). Or send them back to school to learn to read.

The rule of thumb, in my opinion, of course, is, if you can’t see around the bend or over the hill, slow down until you can see. Oh, my gosh—is that just too much common sense for a society that appears to have made common sense so terribly UNCOMMON?

The other “hurry” is at the grocery store or big box store. I understand that others may have time restrictions and are trying to get things done quickly. Those carts are weapons to one’s heels. They can do serious damage. Tailgating with those carts is a no-no, similar to tailgating in a car. However, I also believe that common courtesy dictates that us slower-moving shoppers should pull aside or park off the main aisle so those with the time issues can fly past. Sounds a little like the road traffic?

I don’t care how fast you go—in the store or on the road. I don’t care how many chances you take in your everyday life. I only start caring when you affect what I do, my safety, my stress level, my health, my money, my constitutionally protected freedoms—and those of my family and loved ones.

I have come to realize that it’s the touch of Libertarian in me. I’ve come to believe that others—those who speed, those who do drugs, those who are rude, those who are unaware of anyone around them—can press on as long as it doesn’t affect me or those I love.

How do I curb my “I’m-in-a-hurry” mode of operation? First, I make sure I allow plenty of time to get where I’m going. Even during my working days (and I had a three-hour commute, one way!), I always arrived on time because I allowed for potential obstacles. I had a one cup of coffee at home, but I often arrived early enough to grab that second cup before my allotted start time. I wasn’t getting paid to stand in line at Starbucks. If I didn’t have the time before my work clock started, I did without the coffee. That didn’t happen very often because I really was annoying without that second cup. It’s called a work ethic. Because of my work ethic, I was called “Goody Two-Shoes,” but I didn’t care. My work ethic made me feel good. I was proud to be a responsible employee.

Consideration for others includes being on time. Consideration for me means planning my time so I don’t have to hurry. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stress that this approach eliminates. I wish everyone would try it, for everyone’s sake.

Be safe, stay informed, and thanks for reading!

© 2019 Dee Armstrong All Rights Reserved

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