An episode of How I Met Your Mother from season 6, "Subway Wars," made me think extra hard about why it is that I'm always in a hurry.
The plot goes something like this:
While the gang hangs out at MacLaren's Pub, Marshall learns that his friend Max from law school has just spotted Woody Allen at a restaurant downtown. While Robin is interested in seeing him, the rest of the gang is not, saying they have seen him plenty of times and teasing Robin about not being a "real" New Yorker, as she's from Canada. Robin tries to impress them by saying she has seen Maury Povich, but the gang is again unimpressed, as they have all seen him many times as well. The group debates what it takes to become a real New Yorker. More hilarity ensues, but that could be a-whole-nother post.
Then the group begins arguing on what the fastest way to get to the restaurant would be, and quickly decide to race each other there: Ted rides the bus, Lily takes the subway, Robin opts to hail a cab, Marshall decides to run there on foot, and Barney claims to have the fastest method of all while even enjoying a steak first.
And the race is on!
The two characters that I'll focus on are Marshall and Lily, the couple on the show that is trying to get pregnant during season 6. Over the course of the series, I have always related to them as a couple...especially now. That fear of seeing a negative pregnancy test again...and feeling like something must be wrong. The anxiousness to have a baby right now...to hurry up and get there. The stress of it all -- I totally get it.
But back to the episode...
During the race, Marshall originally finds himself excited and confident that he'll reach the finish line first. But he looses steam and starts to question everything -- not only in the race, but in trying to conceive a baby with Lily. What if something is wrong with him...what if it's his fault. WHAT IF they can't ever have children of their own. For him, the race is a metaphor for conceiving a child. He needs to be first to the finish line...it needs to happen right now. It's as if their life can't continue until this event occurs -- and THAT is something in which I can totally relate.
Meanwhile, Lily decides to take the subway and misinterprets the subway conductor's announcement that it is undergoing maintenance. Soon after exiting the train, it departs (to her immense frustration). The stress of it all finally gets to her...and the race is not just about getting to the restaurant first, but about getting pregnant as soon as possible. She questions why isn't it happening for her right away like she thought it would. She wants to be pregnant...yesterday.
Ultimately, Lily & Marshall end up in a cab together. They finally realize that reaching the restaurant first isn't really what they are trying to accomplish. The same goes for getting pregnant...Sure, it would be great for it to happen right away, but just because it doesn't does not mean it won't happen ever. They discuss enjoying their time together and to try not to rush into things.
This episode really hit home with me.
The metaphor for racing to the finish line of life.
Why are we always so eager to rush through everything? Maybe it's time to stop and smell the roses...enjoy what you have...right now. Everything will happen when it's meant to happen and not accepting that will not move you along any faster.
Oh, I hear a voice
That says I'm running behind
Better pick up my pace
It's a race and there ain't no room for someone in second place
I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why