I have been cutting corners since I learned what a 90 degree angle was. I do not do this on purpose, I quite honestly can't help it. If I can see a faster way to do something then I will do it. This is sometimes something as simple as working out how to carry every single shopping bag back in from the var at once to avoid doing two trips, almost breaking my arms and resulting in back pain for days. It could be making a salad in the kitchen without opening or closing the fridge more than twice - stock piling the ingredients in my arms like some kind of desperate maniac, often dropping something causing more work for myself along the way, but you bet I will still attempt this every damn time. Everything is a race to me. EVERYTHING. I hate it but I can't stop.
So, as a life long corner cutter, here are some confessions, most of which I am not proud of...
1. I once copied my sisters maths assignment because she was a year above me and we were given the exact same worksheet to complete. I simply got hers, changed the name and handed it in. A couple of days later I was called up to the front of the class and the teacher said she was horrified, not just because I cheated but because I had done a terrible job at cheating - while the assignment questions were the same, all of the numbers had been changed and I didn't even notice. My corner cutting had gotten me into trouble. I thought it was hilarious but I was also embarrassed and angry at myself. I realised I couldn't even cut corners properly.
2. This morning I did my whole "pack the sons school lunch without opening the fridge more than twice"...which resulted in me accidentally dropping a container of beetroot and spending the next ten minutes cleaning the entire fridge of beetroot juice. When will I learn?
3. My driving instructor, back when I was a naive little L Plater, said to me innocently, not wanting to upset me because I was nothing if not an over sensitive, dramatic teenager "do you find you rush most things in life". Fair question but the look on his face as he calming posed this to me was sheer terror. I was driving around full speed, pulling into car parks like we had arrived at the hospital and he was pregnant and about to deliver a baby. I still feel sorry for that bloke, I wasn't trying to drive us off the road, I just wanted to get everywhere faster, both in the car and metaphorically.
4. At work, in my days as a retail area manager, I would pick and choose policies which made sense to me to avoid wasting time on details which didn't serve the bigger picture. I wasn't proud of it but I couldn't help it." Half-assed Kim" they called me. We were once instructed to organise our store for Boxing Day sales into 5 areas in the back room, with a code written on each item. I thought up my own way to do this which made much more sense to me, not that I remember what it was after all these years. My state manager visited my stores and was furious. I had no system in her opinion, I didn't care, I had not followed instruction...etc, etc, etc. I was shocked. I thought my system was genius. I mean, life changing genius, to be implemented across the company genius. I was not trying to be defiant, I was just cutting corners. In hindsight, I think she might have had a point. My system was pretty stupid to anyone but me and I had not followed instruction. Ops.
5. I gave up breast feeding after 2 weeks. My son was sooky at night and a doctor suggested he might not be getting enough milk so to try a bottle of formula at night time to assist his slow weight gain. He. Loved. It. It was easier. I didn't think twice, I gave up breast feeding over night and developed mastytis because anyone who knows anything knows you are meant to ween off. Not me, racing towards solutions, I just went cold turkey. Idiot. I would not repeat that, I do believe natural is best and there is something so magical about the bond from breastfeeding. Granted, my life was not easy at this time so anything to help was something I gabbed on to, but I don't want to corner cut this in the future if I have the chance.
6. I exercise in strange ways, at strange times, to cut a few corners when I feel like I haven't worked out enough that day. If I visit at my mum's place I do pull ups on the clothes line. I do squats while my dinner is cooking and I have to watch the stove. I do tricep dips while my son and me are building lego. What the hell is my problem. Just relax dude.
7. I told my boyfriend I loved him after just 2 weeks. I don't know if this was corner cutting, I just had to say it. When you know, you know. I just knew. I probably could have waited, he was pretty shocked to hear it so soon but he said it back and we lived happily ever after hah.
8. I've smashed 3 phone screen trying to multi task. The most recent time, I was putting coins in a parking machine while sending a text and holding my bag and a note book all at once. I dropped everything. Insant smashed phone screen. Just wait, it gets worse. Rather than waiting for Telstra to open the next day, I went to a screen repair shop in the shopping center, paid $200 for a new screen, got home and did the very same thing two hours later. I went back and got another screen for $200. It was a terrible screen, I had a go at the staff but they refused to budge, so the next morning I went to Telstra. Turns out I was on a swap plan and could have just received a new phone for $120. I had spent $400 and my phone was useless with a clearly non apple screen now on it. This meant I then had to repair the screen at apple before Telstra would swap my phone because it had been tampered with by a third party. All up, I spent $600 trying to get things done quickly. Damn. Corners. When it comes to phones, short cuts become long, expensive cuts very quickly.
9. I tried to write this post while subsequently drinking coffee, eating a protein bar, watching catch up's from Bachelor In Paradise on TV and doing a pedicure, colouring in with my son and writing a to-do list. I did none of the above things well, I did them all and I did them all terribly. So when you see me with scrappy nail polish, a coffee stained shirt, chia seeds in my teeth, with Texta scribbles on my arm and only a half recollection of last nights reality tv episode, I swear it isn't my fault, its the damn corners, I can't stop cutting em. Short cuts are to blame, those addictive pesky little shits keep calling me towards them, promising me extra time for later but delivering me absolute disaster.
Here is the thing: life is short. Damn, life is so short. I have lived a sometimes very wild life, an often chaotic life; on fast forward, always seeking the next thing. I think I was born this way, I have never known myself at any other pace than full speed. My greatest fear has always been a life of ordinary but only recently have I learned how much anxiety my pace causes me day after day. Slowing down has become my new goal. The corner cutting has been my natural state my entire life but I am trying to do things thoroughly, completely, entirely. There is brilliance in the details, in doing things right, in taking time. That old saying "if you are going to do something, you should do it well" has been playing on my mind. Maybe, if you do see me around, and I am in a rush, tell me to slow the $#@! down and remind me of that damn turtle who beat the hare and probably went on to live a fairly interesting life, speeding ticket free.