In a rush

My daily train departs the city every 50 minutes. It is quite handy not to miss it.

Countdown to my daily train departure home:

T-16 min
I wanted to do some last minute shopping. I enter the market, buy a few things I want to eat this weekend. Pay, smile to the cashier as he gives me back 5 cents too much. Leave the shop.

T-7 min
I unlock my bicycle on busy Spencer street and hectically lock in my bags, put my helmet on and get ready to ride down to the station. It is about a 2 min. ride and then another 2 min up and down a few escalators to the train. It can work. A big family of 6 or so crowd the sidewalk next to my bicycle. Judging from the “Texas fuck yeah” stickers on their wheeled luggage I assume they are Americans who just arrived. They are discussing some directions on their phones and look rather clueless.

T-6 min
I start riding and then decide to help them out as it seems no one else is willing to. I approach them and ask them if I can help them find their way. The lady with the phone, brown hair, blue dress, overweight and sweating (it’s 30°C) confirms my assumption and tells me that they are looking to go to William street. I said: “That’s easy, it’s a parallel street to this one (pointing at Spencer street), it’s the next one over, you just need to go one block this way.” They nod, thank me and I am back on my bike.

T-5 min
I am making my way through the crowds on the sidewalk, running. I am aware that I wasted some time and need to hurry to still make my train. Then it strikes me, King street is the next street over! They need to walk two blocks not just one! I gave them the wrong directions! Suddenly I feel bad about myself and play with the thought of running back. At the time I was too hurried to realise that they have a phone with a map and they can probably figure it out once they go into the right direction. I feel terrible.

T- 3 min
On the overpass at Southern Cross station. I will probably make it but still feel awful about sending this large group with 4 children walking through peak hour foot traffic without the right directions, what if they get lost in a strip club on King street?

T-1 min
In the train. I made it just in time. Reflecting on what happened I realise that when I committed to helping the group out, I need to be 100% with them. In most cases I am hurried when going to my train but it’s no excuse for not being to the best of my abilities. With my full attention. I want to live in a world where we commit to our actions fully, even when we are in a rush (which seems to be all the time) and especially if we are helping others, who need us to do our best.

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