I have a hard time slowing my mind down at times. There is always a to-do list. Family to-dos, work to-dos, and a plethora of new ideas for my home, work and creative pursuits. Books to read…oh, the books I have stacked on my shelf and queued up in my Kindle…
It’s possible I need an intervention.
There is never enough time in the day, but what I am trying to do is slow down a bit and prioritize. There will be time to tackle new ideas and piles of laundry, but there isn’t always time with my girls and my husband. They’re growing up and their school schedules are getting busier. The husband is a military guy, and we deal with separations that are lengthy, and quite frankly…difficult. It’s during those times that it really can hit home that quality time, even in small moments matter.
5 Reasons to Slow Down
There are far more reasons to slow down, unplug and just enjoy your life by being present than five, but it seemed like a good number to narrow things down a bit. I took a long hiatus on this blog because I knew something had to give recently when many things changed at home.
1. Focus on who is most important. Slowing down, I have begun to realize, is key so you can focus on who is most important in your life when they need you most. You can’t see their needs as clearly unless you are in tune and present in their lives more. Being constantly connected, distracted by your need to complete a task list, or consuming your time with things that can wait, distracts you from who really matters in your life – it’s been a constant work in progress for me.
2. Slowing down allows you to see things you otherwise would miss.
The smiles and laughter that come out of my children regularly is infectious. Plain and simple. In recent years, I have found myself so buried in my “busy” and the feeling of being overwhelmed, that I have missed some of those moments, regretfully. I have coped with the chaos of three young children by disconnecting and burying myself in work and I’m ashamed to admit that. But, I have been taking small steps to get back to what’s most important to me and that’s by being willing to unplug, saying no to housework (that’s actually never been an issue…), and actually stopping what I’m doing when they want to snuggle on the couch. I still love my work, but I’m getting better at putting it away to make them a priority.
3. When you stop and take life in, you are reminded just how fast time is passing you by.
She turned 8 this year. Eight…years….old. I’m tearful thinking of how quickly the time has passed. I had noticed a distance between us because of my disconnect and it was breaking me…and one of the main reasons I vowed to be more present. Hence the silence here, the piles of laundry, dishes in my sink , dates with just her and I, and co-sleeping that happens when her Dad’s doing his patriotic duty. The shift in focus has helped our relationship and we are getting back to our close place. I can’t tell you how good that feels. I can only hope she forgives me for not being as present as I should have been with her and that she can see my efforts now.
4. When you tune into life, you connect and enjoy.
Watching my children in moments of pure joy is always such a humbling experience. It reminds me that life should be lived without fear of who is watching and with curiosity in mind. As I have been watching my girls with a more conscious effort I have realized their innate ability to explore, (and get into mischief is a talent..although I was already aware of that), and be so creative. Their mischievous nature is something I can see potential in rather than only feeling pure frustration. Although the frustration still happens….I mean, how many times do I have to tell them that crayons are for paper?
5. When you slow down, you wake up to the beauty of the simplest moments that happen around you.
I am a constant work in progress. I have a long way to go and I am still struggling with my ability to remain connected, to prioritize the pieces and parts of my life appropriately, and make each day one of quality with my family – but I am determined to make each day better than the previous. Or, at least learn from the epic fail days so I can avoid having those days on repeat.
It has felt good working on this goal. I’m constantly re-evaluating and working on it, working on myself and stopping to be there for my kids…it feels good to be working towards being more present in general.
How do you work on this goal within your own life?