Learning how to Slow Down

Do you ever feel like you are running to keep up with your own life? I feel like that often, it isn’t so much that we are busy all the time, just sick and tired of being sick and tired. The kids come home from school coughing and sneezing and telling you a daily count of how many kids are out of class and you dread them falling sick, because you can’t get sick, parents don’t have the luxury of being ill!

Sometimes you have to make decisions like do I cook a gourmet meal or do I serve something like eggs for dinner (guilty, but they are warm and healthy, so win!)? Sometimes you choose to go to bed as early as the kids and forgo TV and catching up because sleep is important and it seems even more so in this cold and dreary weather. Sometimes it is choosing to go away for a weekend without the kids, or going to a coffee shop for some alone time, or hitting up a yoga class instead of watching another practice.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

It can also be hiring a caretaker so you can take a break as the main caretaker of a child, spouse or parent who needs around the clock care. Making time to slow down is a gift we don’t give ourselves that often and it is beyond necessary. We give and we give and we never ask for much in return, but the more you give without replenishing your own reserves, the more at risk you are at for complete mental and physical exhaustion.

“You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all.” -Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Princess

In this moment look at your life, what do you see, is the picture one you are proud of, or is it frantic and out of focus? Now is the time to decide, stay on this path where nothing seems to work out, or if it does, you don’t have time to enjoy it. Decide right now how to find some balance, which will mean learning how to say “no” a lot.

Some examples might be...

Another fundraiser: Almost every organization is worthy, but unless it is handing over some money to the cute Girl Scouts, writing a check, or donating a few items, you have to draw the line somewhere. Pick your top 2-3 charities or organizations and instead of presents for your birthday or other holiday, ask for people to give in your name. Or, if you are invited to another party where you know the host or hostess has everything, donate in their name. But to the black tie affairs, the roundtables, the planning committees, if you love them, say yes, if you don’t, don’t be afraid to say “No Thanks.” You can’t pour from an empty cup and being honest is quite refreshing.

“The trouble is if you don’t spend your life yourself, other people spend it for you.” -Peter Shaffer, Five Finger Exercise

More after school activities: Repeat after us, one per kid, unless you truly love being a glorified Uber driver and cheerleader, make it easy on yourself and limit their undying passions to one thing.

Religious obligations: Churches, Temples, Mosques, they rely on volunteers and God bless those who have the time, but if you don’t, don’t feel guilty saying so. If it brings you joy be very specific about your time constraints and don’t waver. If you said you can only volunteer 2 hours a week, then that is what you do and after that, you leave, no guilt.

“Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”
-Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

We are all struggling to find our way in this life, how lucky and blessed are we that we have one another for support on this path towards greatness! -Team SG