You may remember the epiphany I experienced while watching my daughter eat a sno-cone during a summer trip to the beach.
Truth be told, it was our second trip to The Sno-Cone Shack in three days. (These were not your average sno-cones.) This time, my daughter got a scoop of wedding cake and a scoop of cherry. I don’t think I will ever forget how delicious that unlikely combination of flavors tasted. You see, my daughter gave me the very last bite.
Because I didn’t rush her.
Because I allowed her to take her time.
Because that big ol’ ticking clock that I wore around my neck during my impatient Hurry Up Years had been left behind. Without the squeeze of that ticking clock around my throat, I could breathe; my child could breathe. I was all there with my daughter on that unforgettable day.
I ended up writing about the sno-cone experience and provided a painful glimpse of what life was like when I pushed and prodded that same little girl through her day. I had no idea millions of people would eventually read those dark truths—but even if I had known, I still would’ve written it—for the people walking around with the heavy clocks around their necks.
I had the chance to edit the story before The Huffington Post published it. I remember looking at the live preview thinking I should probably add something like: “While it is important to have unhurried moments in life, it is equally important to instill a sense of responsibility and promptness in our children.” After all, I was a teacher for ten years. I know full well the importance of promptness and dependability.
But I didn’t change one word of that story. Not one. I knew I would take some heat, but I was okay with that. I was writing to The Clock Wearers of the World—the ones functioning at one speed and one speed only … the ones “hurry upping” their loved ones through life even when it wasn’t necessary … the ones who’d lost sight of what really mattered by living in constant state of urgency. I knew breathing was becoming labored for those wearing the ticking clocks heavy on their chests. I knew because that is how I lived for so long.