Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Haste, Less Speed

I heard those words so many times growing up. One of the momisms. Little sayings that we heard and just let roll in one ear and out the other. Thing is, years later you realize the truth in the momisms and dadisms. They were teaching us and we didn't even realize it. As I've mentioned in the past, I am a slow learner. I'm still struggling with this one. It always comes to mind when it's too late. Like when I look at the clock and see that it is 7:43 (I swear is said 7:12 when I looked a minute ago) and I need to be at work at 8:00 and I haven't showered or picked out my clothes or packed my snacks or filled my travel mug with coffee. There's a mini-tornado as I shower, dress, pack, and fill, and run out the door. Along the way there's an entire series of mini-mishaps that slow me down, each one causing me to repeat "more haste, less speed" and sometimes "when will I learn?!" I manage to arrive at 8:01 or 8:02. Does that count as late?

Today, instead of a series of mishaps, it was just one. I wanted a cup of coffee. Now. I was reading and really wanted to get back to my book before I had to move on with the morning. I really didn't want to wait for it to brew or whatever it does in these new fangled drip machines. I wanted my coffee. Now. I hurriedly washed out the carafe, dumped the used grounds, cleaned the filter holder, replaced the filter, filled the water reservoir, and opened the coffee container for fresh grounds. Empty. No problem, I keep the coffee in a small, not even one pound, container but keep a humongous container in the freezer. You know, buying the biggest one to save money but transferring to a small container 'cause it's easier to use and keep close at hand. The freezer is at the bottom of the fridge. There's a shelf at the top of the freezer where I keep the waffles and sausage and, of course, the ice cream so it's readily accessible. Then there's a big basket type drawer to hold everything else. The coffee is on it's side at the back so its out of the way. I'm smart like that. So, I reach in for the coffee. I'm in a hurry. I want my hot cup of coffee. Now. I grab the container and its stuck just a bit. Yank. I'm in a hurry. The lid (which is at the other end - not the end I'm holding) pops off. Coffee grounds EVERYWHERE. In the freezer drawer, on the other frozen stuff, on the floor of the freezer, on the kitchen floor. "More haste, less speed" I at least have the presence of mind to get my coffee started (as mentioned, I really want my coffee) with what's left in the big container (less than a third of what used to be in there) so it'll be brewing or dripping or whatever while I'm cleaning up the mess.

This brings me to another saying, "no great loss without some small gain" which I learned from Laura Ingalls Wilder, the real life Laura of Little House on the Prairie. If you think about your losses you will usually find a gain somewhere in there. It might not be a gain you wanted and you might want to trade back the small gain to erase the big loss. (Sorry, against the rules.) But the gain is there nonetheless. And every once is a great while, not with every loss but with a few, after some time has passed, you realize it wasn't a great loss and a small gain but the other way around.

While the spilled coffee grounds were a minor loss, there was gain . . . I didn't have to wait for the coffee. It was ready by the time the mess was cleaned up.


Col said...

You make me laugh.

Kathleen said...

See that. Another gain.

Cara said...

That could have been me! And, it was my Grandmother with the 'isms'. Haste makes waste was her version. She also taught me how to sew. We always hemmed our own clothes (I'm short, so everything had to be hemmed - no Petites back then). I would always use a long thread so I didn't have to re-thread the needle. Of course, it would get tangled and knotted (she always un-tangled and un-knotted for me). When she watched me getting started she would say "Who are you going to hang?"