Rush Rush

“It was Spring, and the brook was full to the brim with its water. And the water moved in a hurry, as all things move in a hurry when it is Spring.”  – Scuffy the Tugboat 

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A few years ago I made a resolution along the lines of “Don’t rush in where angels fear to tread…”

And one of the things I’m really liking about Zurich so far is the slower pace. There’s definitely time to smell the roses here – or rather the blossoms right now. Wow, spring has really sprung! This is particularly noticable compared to London where you don’t smell many flowers on the daily commute (too polluted) and you don’t slow down (too busy!).

It is spring though, and all things move in a hurry when it is spring (see quote, above). It is also my natural tendency to rush. Sometimes I get so caught up in the urgency of the moment that I just want to get everything done now! now! Now! This can result in things that are too hectic, not best quality and, y’know, the good old – making a situation worse where doing nothing would have meant it dissipated or even disappeared. It can also result in RESULTS. So it’s not always bad.

PROS: I generally meet deadlines. I don’t forget much. I get things done. Sometimes you have to strike while the iron’s hot! Don’t think too much – or it might never happen. It makes me a good worker, even if it also means I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie/stress bunny. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of like the efficient, busy side of myself. I guess if we’re talking Myers-Briggs type traits, it’s part of my ‘preferred style’. But.. but…

CONS: Sometimes, it’s not the right way. It’s often worth thinking twice. Look before you leap. And often that produces a better outcome in the end. Something more measured, correct, kind. Plus, as I said, doing nothing can be better than doing something (particularly the wrong thing) in certain situations. A headlong rush can also mean not acknowledging the reality of the situation (although, this can also be helpful – eg, when you hate your job but need to do it anyway).

Anyway, this is a rather long-winded, soul-searching way to say that I realised something this week. I had a German fail and more than that, a mum fail. Dropped P off  to nursery a bit early and there was a different carer there. In my head the words bounced about: Wie heissen Sie? Wie heissen Sie… (What is your name?) which would have made the whole situation easier/better. But I DIDN’T SAY IT. I hesitated because I was afraid of getting it wrong. In this particular situation, it was not a good reason to wait. Walked home, kicking myself… but then HI says – “hey, there’s plenty of time: in a month you’ll be more confident”. And it hit me – he’s right, we’re here for the duration. It’s going to be years. I will speak German (maybe not well, but I will speak it) and I will read it too. Because there’s time.

So what I realised is, for once in my life, there is no real rush. The German will happen, and so will all those other things: settling in, feeling connected here, having another baby (maybe?!), making friends… I do find it a little hard to accept but it’s true and that actually makes me feel pretty good!



Novel note: Reading The Count of Monte Christo for the first time. Now there’s a story that knows how to take its time (I guess it was originally serialised?). This dude is in gaol for 14 years and even he takes 3 years to learn German (and a few other languages). From prison. With nothing else to do. OK so it’s not easy. Also: Facebook era it ain’t.

“Fortunately Dantes had learned how to wait; he had waited fourteen years for his liberty, and now that he was free he could wait at least six months or a year for wealth.”



  1. From wiki: “In France Alexandre Dumas and Eugene Sue were masters of the serialized genre. The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo each appeared as a Feuilleton. The Count of Monte Cristo was stretched out to 139 installments.”
    Dumas wrote masses, and fast. His motivation? A little drug habit, 40 mistresses & various offspring that needed funding… Fascinating bloke 😉

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