How to not strangle someone while standing in line at The Post Office.

Written by Cole Schafer


The Post Office is a magical place.

You take something important enough to give to someone else there. You pay a few dollars. You slap a label on it. And, that something eventually ends up on the other side of the state or the country or the world.

The Post Office also teaches patience.

It never goes as quickly as you'd hope it would go and is almost always an inconvenience on your day.

It's magic you really have to earn.

It, in not so many words, is a hassle. Some might even go as far as to say a complete and utter pain in the ass.

Last Friday, for example, I was standing in line at The Post Office with two bags filled to the brim with dozens and dozens of books nestled inside pretty matte black packaging I had hand-selected and addressed with glossy silver ink.

I was as excited as a kid with a bag full of Halloween candy because the books weren't just any books, they were my books...

This excitement led to an extreme lack of patience because I was antsy to get One Minute, Please? on the other side of the counter where they could soon make their way into all the hands that believed enough in me as a writer to hit "buy".

An older gentleman behind me in line must have sensed my impatience. He asked me what I was sending. I grabbed an extra book I had in my bag and handed it to him. He smiled and said it was pretty cool. He then said...

"Be patient. Being in a hurry is a race to the grave."

I'm not sure if he was referring to The Post Office or my career or my book sales or what... but it made me think.

The past year of my life has been a blur, a race, an impatient sprint towards a finish line; a finish line I've created in my own head.

In some capacity, this sprinting has been good.

I've crafted fifty-something articles on Honey Copy, I've created and grown two newsletters (Sticky Notes and Stranger than fiction), I've operated a freelance business working with a number of different brands and I've written and published a book.

Yet, I've come to find that while sprinting is good for getting shit done, it's not necessarily good for happiness.

I don't think it's a coincidence that some of the most ambitious people I know also seem to be the most unhappy.

I think it is extremely difficult to find happiness when you're ambitious because when you're ambitious you do a lot of sprinting and when you do a lot of sprinting you're constantly looking to the future and when you're constantly looking to the future you're not being present and being that happiness can only be found in the present moment when you're not living in the present moment and constantly looking to the future it's impossible to be happy and in a way it's impossible to be alive... it's like living in a grave.

I thought about all of this, more or less, as I stood in line at The Post Office with my books weighing heavy on my back, waiting for them to say next; waiting patiently for something magical to happen.

By Cole Schafer.