I have this thing about doing things “real quick.” But, only when it applies to me and not, like, work. And, I wonder if I’m the only one.
Ron looks at me kind of sideways with a soft smile whenever I say something will “only take me a sec,” or I mention with apologetic eyes that I’m running somewhere “real quick,” even if it’s to get groceries for every starving human in the house.
I shower “real quick.” I set out for errands “real quick.” I run “real quick,” even though that’s a bit of an oxymoron.
Why in the heck do I always have to qualify the time it’ll take me? Why do I always feel the need to manage expectations on how long I’ll be tied up, even if it benefits people I love?
I mean, I know one reason. Conditioning put me in that spot for a while. Any moment spent away from home needed to be qualified for a large part of my adult life, most pronounced in the last 10 years. And even when it was qualified, it was still a problem. Forget wanting any time at all for myself, to like, I don’t know, workout or something?
That feeling, and fear I guess, is still something I’m clearly trying to cut loose from my little box of learned habits. That’s okay. It’s a new season.
I also think, though, it’s because I multi-task to the hilt. Kids can be impatient, wanting to go somewhere or do something right then. And I have to finish something “real quick” to keep them from losing their minds sometimes.
Maybe I should just start telling them it’ll take me forever to do what I’m doing, because this “real quick” thing is a losing battle. If you think about it, this measurement of “quick” is a wildly ambiguous one when the people involved are minors.
I know I’m pretty damn efficient. But I don’t need to be “real quick” at everything, and I’m not. I also don’t need to even promise to be “real quick.” Sometimes things take time.
Like writing. Thinking. Reading. Hiking. Grocery shopping. Showering. Cleaning. Running. Cooking. Anything, right? Going to the mailbox can seem “real quick,” unless you run into a talkative neighbor. And most times that’s a good reason to slow down.
So I’m thinking I’ll try and lose that phrase. For good. Under-promise and over-deliver. I’ll do things for however long they take, and surprise myself and anyone with expectations of me when I get them done real quick.