Saturday, April 30, 2011
I noticed it first in my retired father. This low level anxiety when we were travelling together. The constant flipping of the wrist to look at his watch.
"C'mon, c'mon," he'd say, "Look lively there!"
"What's your rush, Da?"
And then I'd get a variant of the following:
"We need to find a hotel for the night."
"We don't know where the restaurant is."
"The ferry could leave early"
and then the best clincher of all:
"We don't want to be late."
Late. When we had no definite plans. When our hotel rooms would yawn at us vacantly as we entered them. When we were two hours early for a tour somewhere or one hour early for a lunch reservation and had to hang around in the lobby like transients.
I noticed this manufactured rush in a retired friend of mine when I was back in Ireland. This low level anxiety, the pacing, the impatience, the circling of the car and flashing of the wrist watch. When there were absolutely no definite plans in place and we were technically free as birds with no time constraints. It is easy to say 'ignore it'. But I can't. I pick up on the vibration and I find it stressful. As if I, with my slow packing or toothbrushing, is holding him back from something really important that must be attended to.
And the grand finale of all of this is usually just hanging about, killing time.
I am ever watchful I haven't inherited the Da's gene. Then again, I threw away my last watch over twenty years ago. Best thing I ever did.