There Is No Rush: And Other Sayings

I’ve loved reading all the responses to my post on family sayings and vacation mantras. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking through more go-to lines that have subconsciously embedded themselves into our lexicon.

More by good luck than good management. I’ve mentioned before how my maternal grandmother loved to play the board game Crokinole. I first referenced it because she was forever saying: So near, but yet so far while competing in weekend-long tournaments with my older brother. But, with equal frequency, she was quick to say: More by good luck than good management. If someone managed to accidentally knock one of her players off the board, her commentary on the situation was always the same: It was more by good luck than good management. I can’t remember if she would apply this logic to herself when she made a play that was more by “good luck” than “good management”…?

Be kind, be safe, be neat. We adored the preschool Abby and Levi attended with good reason. It was amazing. John and I used to joke we wanted to quit our jobs and attend preschool full-time. Outdoor classrooms. Incredible staff. Delicious food (Levi still raves about many of the dishes). Sand and water tables. Dress up stations with costumes. Magnets and puzzles and books and magnifying glasses and every creative delight you could imagine. And, perhaps most alluring of all, someone to encourage you to lie down after lunch who would also rub your back until you fell asleep. #BestLifeEver. They also did great preparatory work with the kids, offering them support in handling conflict at the pint-sized level. One year, when Levi was still attending, the class was tasked with coming up with a saying to promote good choices. They settled on: Be kind, be safe, be neat. We still repeat this line to our kids regularly. Kissing them goodbye outside the school? Be kind, be safe, be neat. Dropping them off for a playdate? Be kind, be safe, be neat. In the last few years we’ve added our own family twist with one extra line: “…and have fun!”

Nobody loves us…but at least there aren’t any bills. This one might not be the greatest quote to mention publicly. Are you familiar with the truly disgusting/horrible song that goes: Nobody likes me, everybody hates me…guess I’ll go eat worms. If you’ve never heard this song, count your blessings. It gets worse in the following verses, detailing the specific characteristics of said worms. Ick. Yet, somehow, this chorus has stood the test of time and continues to make its way ONTO CHILDREN’S ALBUMS. Anyhoo. Somewhere along the way our kids learned this ditty (can I blame preschool), and found the whole worm-eating bit rather hilarious. Sigh. Where does this fit in with regular family sayings, you might ask? In our household, checking the mail remains a very serious endeavor. One child is primarily responsible for this task and takes the job very seriously (woe to the other sibling should they abscond the mail key and check the box first). At one point somebody said, in response to an empty mailbox – Nobody loves us. How depressing, right? I pointed out an empty mailbox was GREAT news since it meant no bills. It has become a family ritual, when the mailbox is empty, to say: Nobody loves us…but at least there aren’t any bills. *For the record, both kids regularly receive fun things in the mail. Many people love us – mail or no mail.

Home again, home again. I know my Dad used to say this, but it’s in regular rotation at our house, too. As soon as we pull into the driveway someone will either sigh – or scream with delight, depending on what situation we’re leaving/entering – home again, home again. (This originally comes from To Market, To Market to Buy a Fat Pig; we apparently get a lot of our material from questionable and antiquated nursery rhymes?)

You get what you get and you don’t get upset. Another preschool saying, and one I know has made the rounds in daycares and homes around the world: You get what you get and you don’t get upset. Does saying this to the kids eliminate all their angst? I wish. They still love to complain – especially if they feel like a sibling has gotten an extra microgram of chocolate sauce on their ice cream or in other matters of equal importance. If complaining was a sport, our kids could vie for the top prize. But occasionally, when I remember to repeat this line, something clicks into place in their sweet little brains and it actually does make a tangible difference. And let’s be honest, I need to repeat this line for my own benefit, too. Elisabeth: you get what you get, and you don’t get upset. It works…occasionally.

The things that go wrong often make the best memories. I got this line from Gretchen Rubin years ago and we say it all the time. All. the. time. It’s so true. The things that go wrong often do make the best memories; or, if not the best, then at least the most likely to be retold around the dinner table.

And in the current chaos of finishing out a somewhat oddly configured summer schedule, I’m still trying to lean on my vacation mantras like: It costs what it costs, Choose the bigger life (I actually said this out loud to Levi yesterday when I jumped off a diving board at a public pool), and This will feel different tomorrow.

My newest addition to the repertoire: There is no rush.

90% of the time when I find myself rushing, there is literally no need to rush. Rushing adds an unnecessary layer of stress to the day and is usually self-induced.

I wrote this line in the front of my daytimer. I’ve said it over and over to myself when I’m bouncing like a pinball around the house or the grocery store. I don’t have to run down the stairs to get the mop. I can walk. I don’t have to push my cart at top speed to get Greek yogurt. I can saunter.

There is no rush.

A few weeks ago John went on a long run and we coordinated a rendezvous point I could meet him with the car. On our way home he asked about stopping to go down a side road he knew provided access to a field covered in freshly baled hay. The detour was a bust – when we arrived a tractor had just cleared the field of our photo op. But as we drove back up the little dirt road, we spotted a huge wheat field with a beautiful cloudy sky as the backdrop. Would I mind stopping, he asked?

It was supper time. I had a list of things to get done at home. But we stopped, he hopped out. He got the picture. There was no rush.

Here’s the sad truth. Too often I don’t stop for the wheat fields in life. I rush past. And I suspect I’ll continue to do this because, well, life is busy and once you get started, it can be hard to slow down. But sometimes these little reminders of simple truths – There is no rush, This will feel different tomorrow – can change decisions or attitudes long enough to create little bits of magic.

Your turn. Any new sayings you’ve come across lately?

14 thoughts on “There Is No Rush: And Other Sayings”

  1. I like these sayings…. I feel I am rushing into the next things while the whole life is a journey, I wouldn’t want to rush to the end, right? it’s a good concept to practice but I often forget about it. thanks for the reminder.

    1. Yes – as with just about things in life, it can be “easier said than done.” As in…I tell myself there is no rush but then live at a frantic pace far too often!

  2. I do love a good saying and sometimes remember to write them down. I know I have come across several recently that I have loved but I am cannot remember a single one of them! I usually record them in my diary but I don’t seem to have transferred them across into this years diary and I am away at the mo so not able to look in last years πŸ™

    There is no rush, indeed, I have most definitely embraced this since the lockdowns halted life as we knew it. I was terrible for rushing about before then but I have stopped that now. If I am running late then I am late, and that reminds me of a couple of sayings…….better late than never and, hurry slowly.

    1. Better late than never is such a great, familiar saying. I love hurry slowly! It reminds me of a line I read in a book last week where the author said: Try softer. As in, be gentle with yourself and don’t work so hard/try so hard to get everything perfect.

  3. In the summer of 2020 I watched Hamilton on Disney Plus, and ever since then I think “look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now.” It’s probably my favourite saying. I also think, in terms of parenting, that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

  4. It’s funny because just yesterday I invoked one of your other sayings. I’m helping my son move into his college apartment, which has a kitchen so we went to the grocery store. I forgot what it’s like to shop when you literally have NOTHING. We had to get salt, olive oil, dish soap, sponges, etc, etc, in addition to stocking up on the regular groceries. Needless to say, the grand total was horrifying, but as I put the (numerous) bags in the truck, I said “Well, it costs what it costs.” So true, and it really helped.
    I LOVE “there’s no need to rush.” So often we feel like we’re in a hurry, but do we REALLY have to hurry? Usually not. I’m going to make “there’s no need to rush” my theme from now on.

    1. I’m so glad a little saying from my end came in handy to get perspective because – wow, grocery store bills are shocking these days, especially when you’re starting from scratch with all the essentials like cleaning supplies!
      To be fair, I might remember to invoke the mantras I mention…10% of the time? Mostly I rush (when rushing isn’t required) or fret about the cost of things…but when they hit my mind at the right time, it really can help!

  5. “You get what you get” is so good. Sometimes that’s a good reminder that life isn’t always fair and that you have to deal with whatever is in front of you.

  6. These are fun to read. We are still developing our oft-repeated phrases so I don’t know what will stick, but one thing Paul has started to say, especially when we play Uno, is “what goes around comes around.” I know there are other phrases that we use often but I am blanking on them now. I have been telling myself to “choose the bigger” life this summer since I have been out and about and more social than I’ve been for 2+ years!

    I have also been telling myself “it won’t always be this hard.” We talked about that on the drive home. The vacation was great but it’s really tiring to be with your kids in a non-child proofed house! I was constantly trying to get Will to not pull cleaning products out from under the sink, or trying to keep him off the dock or fighting to get him into a life jacket. He’s probably at the most challenging stage right now. Last year was easier in a way since he wasn’t mobile. But I think next year will be a little easier and then every year forward will be a bit easier in terms of how physically demanding travel is!

    1. Love it – what goes around comes around, indeed!
      You’re in a tough season which will certainly feel less exhausting as the kids get older. The extra independence is SO nice (though I suddenly find my evenings have shrunk since they kids stay up so much later. They’re good about staying in their rooms, but it just doesn’t feel the same anymore).

  7. I love “there is no rush”, mostly because (as I’m sure you’re aware) I do tend to rush things. Not in the sense of finishing them too fast (and making errors) but feeling like every little thing has a deadline. I suspect it comes back to our culture’s general feeling of “we don’t have much time; everything is an emergency”.

    My parents always said that life isn’t fair. Kind of similar to you get what you get. (note: they tried to make things fair – we always had a one-kid-cuts, other-kid-chooses rule. This worked for everything from cookies (well, there you are breaking them) to bubble gum. Yes, gum. They let us have half-pieces and woe to the kid who was deprived of a few molecules of bubble gum. Ha. πŸ™‚

    Love these… thanks for sharing. <3

    1. Your gum splitting story made me laugh!!
      Yes, even at the molecular level kids really want to feel things are fair (or, even better, skewed in their favour).

  8. I like the “There is no rush” one. How often do I think I liked to do this or that but then dont because of such a busy schedule… But more often the thing I skipped would have helped me. through the busy schedule….

    Lately – due to our apartment situation – we start saying this like “as long as we are together”, “home is where you are” or “it is what it is” have come up more often.
    But I honestly don’t think we have family sayings that much. But I will keep and ear out if I can find a pattern.

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