Kids Love Dr. Barton

Why Do We Rush So Much?

by Dr. Douglas Barton, M.D., Pediatrician 07/24/2009

Why do we rush to get where we don’t want to be and bend over backward to be nice to people we really don’t like, only to come home and be crabby with the people we love the most?

Sometimes I have the luxury of time. I usually get into the office anytime between 7 and 9 a.m. which means there is a lot wiggle room regarding how long it takes me to get to work. The other morning, it was so nice outside that I was taking the drive into work very slowly with the windows open, enjoying the cool breeze. Don’t get me wrong…I was traveling at the speed limit…but barely. I got to the interchange between highways and in narrow lanes on curves, people were flying by me and changing lanes in front of me. All I could think was, “Why are you in such a hurry to be where you probably don’t want to be?”

I like my job. I also like a lot of the people I work with. I really like the relationships I develop with most of my patients. Would I give it all up if I didn’t have to work for a living? Probably not…but I sure wouldn’t work as much or as hard while I was there. Most days, given the choice between going to work or staying home, most of us would stay home. Likewise, most of us would choose to hang out with family rather than coworkers most of the time. So why is it that we race to do these things? Why do we treat time at work as our highest priority? Don’t get me wrong…you have to earn a living, you have to do your job well, and you generally have to be on time to work. In spite of all that, watching how crazy people are on the road makes me wonder why they are in such a hurry?

On the other side of this same coin is the way we treat family when we get home. I’ve often wondered why we allow ourselves to behave at home in ways that we would NEVER attempt at work. Are we afraid that at work our image will be affected? That we’re more likely to be called to task for bad behavior? I’ve already established that I’d rather be with my family, so why would I treat my family worse than I treat my coworkers?

The balancing act is always tricky. We often slip into certain behaviors that allow us to maintain the balance with the least amount of resistance. What I’ve come to realize more and more is that sometimes we have to work when we least want to work, try harder when we least want to try harder, and maybe let a thing or two “slide” that we wouldn’t normally. My family is far more important than my colleagues. My time at home is far more important than my time at work. Therefore, I need to be careful with my own balancing act to make sure I keep my priorities in line.




Copyright © 2011 Douglas Barton, M.D. • Website designed by