Hurry-Up And Wait

— Aaron

I traveled by plane all Monday. And it was apparent, more than in my usual life, that most people are in a bigger hurry than me. That’s not to say that I don’t get caught up in a hurry if I really think I need to, but I try not to let it rule my life that way. I’d rather take extra time so that I don’t have to rush. But, really that takes planning ahead, and I don’t do that very often.

But the thing that I don’t get is when people hurry, as though they can speed up the things they have no control about. Like when I was in the airport (you were wondering when I’d come back to that, weren’t you?). People are walking very fast (with longer legs than me, so maybe not all thatfast, really) by my left and right. They speed along, to get to be first in line at the sandwich place, so they can get out of there quickly and get themselves to the gate as quickly as possible. And then they wait there for 15 minutes, until the plane starts boarding. Then, they wait around while their boarding group isn’t even being called yet, hovering to jump into line as soon as it is. All so they can get on the plane (where there seats are pre-assigned, mind you), and wait in the aisle while the people in the previous boarding groups are still blocking the aisle.

Compare this to me: I walk at a slow, comfortable pace, get in line wherever is convenient for food, and wait however long it takes. I saunter to the gate just as their about to call the boarding group after mine, and walk on to the plane, waiting for a couple of folks (but not a whole aisle full) and sit down.
I was at the same spot as them, and sure, they got to their destination a good few minutes faster than me, but I didn’t get stressed about it. I took my time. They (from all appearances) were quite intense and perhaps stressed about the whole issue, and what do they get for it? They get more actual wait time, more frustration with that wait, and they get to their pre-assigned seat a full three or four minutes faster than me. So they can sit in it for two hours.
I’m not complaining – they can lead their lives the way they like, and their intensity doesn’t hurt my feelings. It just seems like they pour forth a lot of effort for very little gain, and even a bit of frustration. Perhaps by all that speeding around they feel like they’ve exerted what little control they can over their circumstances, and that could be comforting. But I guess I’ve embraced my lack of control (probably not fully – but more so than the folks who dash through the airport past me).

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