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Tales of a busy-body

July 9, 2011

As long as I can remember, I’ve been in a hurry. Never one to be late, I rush like crazy to get to church, civic club meetings, blue light specials at K-Mart. You name it. 
Of course, I’m frequently the first one there, then I fume while waiting for everyone else to arrive. (What kind of people wait to arrive at an engagement at the appointed hour? That’s just rude.)
Hurry up and wait. That’s been my life. The habit also carries over into my private life. I race through the house vacuuming like a woman afire. 
It’s become a personal challenge to get my lawn mowed in six minutes.  Have you ever seen a slightly past middle-aged woman jogging with her lawn mower in tow?
I wonder if there’s a support group in town for rushaholics. Normal people set their clocks ahead by five minutes to avoid being late. I set mine back by 15, and hope I can be on time.
I have perfected the art of multi-tasking and can clean out the dishwasher, fry up bacon in the pan, feed the dogs, and talk on the phone all at one time. It’s gotten worse since I am no longer bound by the length of a telephone cord.
Making up my bed while brushing  my teeth and watching “Good Morning America” is the way I begin each day. 
I stand in front of the microwave, impatiently tapping my foot while waiting for the popcorn to pop. That’s the longest two minutes of my life, second only to sitting at traffic lights which are infernally and abnormally slow in my community.
I’m always looking for shortcuts to reach my goals. “Lose 15 pounds in 15 days” is my mantra. “Write the great American novel by Sunday” is at the top of my to-do list. 
I spend most of my time teetering on the precipice of a nervous breakdown, and strongly suspect I’m a victim of Attention Deficit Disorder. You think? 
I’ll be pulling weeds in the garden and spot a lady bug. Wait a minute. I rush inside to the computer and Google “ladybugs” and end up reading websites that describe how you can lose 15 pounds in 15 days.
How do you counter such insane urgency and the curse of busyness, short of going on Valium or becoming a Buddhist Monkette?
Wouldn’t it be great if life had a pause button? (A rewind feature would be even better. )
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers reaching retirement. She welcomes comments at 

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