I have a history of wanting to do things too quickly. Not in a "Let's-get-it-over-with" way but with more of an "eager-to-please" attitude. I can't help but laugh to myself when I remember a time my dad was showing me how to use a garden hoe to weed among the tomato plants on my grandma's farm. I must have been 9 or 10 and, as usual, was oh-so-eager to show I could do a great job. After his demonstration, of which I barely paid any attention, he handed the hoe to me and began hacking away.
"Hells Bells, son!" he exclaimed. "We're not killin' snakes!"
By now, you'd think I would have learned. But I still have my lapses. More than a few times, when I was recently helping Mac, the man whom I hired to finish my basement, he would caution me, "Take it easy!" or "Slow down!" or "You don't have to hurry". These are his comments as I would rush willy nilly to bring in supplies or help carry drywall.
When I am called out on my willy nilly actions --whether by someone else or when I check myself-- with embarrassment, I think of a character in the 70s sitcom, "All in the Family": Edith Bunker. She was the long suffering wife of blue-collar, blustery Archie. Edith would scurry to the kitchen to start dinner or hurry to get Archie a beer or run to answer the door--always eager to please and never knowing how demeaning it looked. And I think of musician Sting's lyric in "Englishman in New York": "A gentleman will walk but never run".
I suppose I have generally gotten better at showing restraint. The notion of taking my time and not being in a hurry is beginning to take root more firmly in my consciousness. It's related to controlling emotions and being more proactive than reactive. Even if it might've possibly suited me more when I was young, it definitely is not fitting for my middle-age self.
I guess that's one thing I appreciate about getting older. My impulses have died down a bit. I feel like I can hold my tongue without as much struggle as when I was an "angry young man". I just hope I can call on those younger impulses again if and/or when I really need them.