Slowing Down

So, to let y’all in on a little secret, this post was “supposed” to be published last Wednesday. I really hate being late and I hate turning things in past the deadline (#typeA), but I think it’s really fitting this time, considering what I’ve been wanting to share with you.

Here’s what’s been on my mind lately: slowing down.

I have been feeling so rushed and overwhelmed: constantly playing catch-up, multi-tasking (and not doing any of it well), never quite able to accomplish everything that needs to get done. If I hear myself say, “I just need more hours in the day” one more time…I don’t even know what I’ll do. And I probably wouldn’t have the time to do it anyway.

In our culture, we wear busyness as a badge of honor, as if it is our way of proving to each other how valuable we are. As if people who are not busy and harried and frazzled are not important. We rush from work to volunteering to lessons to practices, with barely enough time to talk to our family and spend time together before we’re hurry hurry hurrying the kids to get to bed and start it all over in the morning. We give each other sympathetic shrugs and eye rolls, “What are you going to do? That’s life.”

But here’s what I’m realizing: that is a lie.

Busyness is not just how life is. Busyness is a choice. Busyness is a lifestyle that we find ourselves unconsciously sucked into. We do not have to do all the things and the burden is on us to make a change.

So that’s where we’re at in my family. We are choosing to slow down. Especially knowing that the full-on holiday season is approaching, I am ready to fiercely guard my time with my family. 

Here are 3 ways that I’m starting the slowing down process:

 

  • Disconnecting. Technology. Man. I really feel like this is my biggest time thief. Even when I have a few moments of doing nothing, I pull out my phone to check e-mail, social media, weather, etc. Why? I have no idea! It just became a habit, so I deleted Facebook and Instagram off my phone, and chose a place to leave it on the kitchen counter as soon as I walk in the door. The first few weeks really showed me how addicted I had become to just ‘checking’ my phone, but the ‘itch’ has subsided and I’ve found a lot more time in my life.
  • Going outside. Being outside is so refreshing to me. In the past few weeks, we have made an extra effort to just be outside enjoying each other and hanging out with no agenda. The kids have been fishing with daddy, kayaking with me, having tea parties in their playhouse, chasing the dogs on their tricycle, playing in the sprinkler, and sometimes just laying on the hammock! This is the perfect place to slow down.
  • Saying no. I just want to give you permission here, right now, to say no. Say no to things that will take valuable time away from your family. There will always be things fighting for your family’s time, and if you don’t decide for yourselves what you prioritize, someone else is glad to do it for you. Your child does not have to be on every sports team, in every lesson, or volunteering at every event. All of these things are valuable, but not if they are at the cost of your family. I love this reminder: The rhythm of your week will shape the values in your home. Be intentional in creating that rhythm.

 

So anyways, that’s why this post was late. I’ve been working on slowing down and just couldn’t get it all done! We’ll be talking more about this here…especially what it looks like in the busyness of the holiday season. What are your thoughts? Anyone else feeling the need to slow down?

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