The following was originally published in July 2010. Between doctor’s appointments, the end of the school year, and other obligations, this week finds me in a similar space mentally that I was in when this post was written. So, it seems like an appropriate, and gentle, reminder to slow down, forget playing “catch up” and to just focus on where we are right now. I thought perhaps a few of you could use the reminder, too. Enjoy!
Last week was a busy one at the Fleck household. Far busier than I would have liked, actually. By the end of the week we were still playing “catch-up” and spent a good part of Saturday morning rushing around trying to finish up errands and tasks that we didn’t have time for earlier in the week. That is not how I like for things to be around here.
Rushing leaves Chris and I grouchy, the children whining, and it makes me resent the “to-do” list and things that sounded fun when we first planned them.
By Saturday evening, I knew that it was time to change the pace. We made the rest of the weekend about slowing down and ignoring the “to-do” list. Once the pace of the weekend slowed down we were able to enjoy it. That is how I would like the rest of this summer to be.
So, I am giving myself a personal challenge this week: to Be Like the Sun.
“Be the Sun! Move slowly and compassionately, especially in disciplinary situations, bringing warmth and light – it’s a tall order! You may need to practice.” - Sharifa Oppenheimer, Heaven on Earth
This week, I’m giving myself the personal challenge of being mindful of what my family hears from me. I want to be really focused on listening to myself and how I speak to my spouse and my children: am I talking to them in a peaceful tone? Or, am I barking orders and rushing them from task to task?
In discipline situations, am I losing my temper? Or am I reacting with a measured voice and a gentle, but firm, tone? Am I getting louder as the children get louder? Or am I staying the course, moving slowly and compassionately, to guide us out of the moment?
As I mentioned, lately I have felt the pace of Summer quicken. We’re trying to squeeze events, outings, and family get-togethers on the calendar before school begins again. If I’m not mindful, it would be easy to get caught up with keeping a faster pace as the final weeks go by. But, if I slow down I’ll actually find that we have more time.
I want to remember that there are still 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, no matter how fast we move or how full we fill them. I need to focus on moving slowly and on not over-booking us as I make the calendar, no matter how tempting it is.
A few well-chosen events that we can enjoy and make memories from is better than rushing from event to event and not feeling like we get to enjoy any of them.
I also want to make sure that we have lots of down-time in each day. Takings naps, watching the clouds, splashing in the pool, afternoons spent reading under the shade of a tree … those are all important “to do’s” as well. As Tsh reminded us on Friday at Simple Mom, “the days are long, but the years are short.“
Enjoy the Sunsets
Yes, literal sunsets are lovely, but what I mean here is allowing myself to take a break, and enjoy it, guilt free. Even the sun needs to rest and recharge. The sun sets and lets the moon take over for a while.
I need to remember to “sunset” and accept help from others when I need it.
Maybe Grandma can babysit for an evening so that my husband and I can have a date? Perhaps the kids can go for an afternoon out with Daddy, giving me some much needed peace and quiet?
This week I want to carve out time for my spouse and time for myself alone – and not feel guilty about it!
New Chance to Shine
Every day is a new chance to shine. Perhaps I was grouchy or spoke too harshly yesterday. Maybe I set goals for myself that I didn’t reach or said something I regret. We all have those parenting moments we wish we could take back. But, every day is a new day, a fresh start. Time to begin again.
A fresh chance to shine.
Have you been feeling rushed lately? How can you slow things down?