Slowing Down

Smiling parents and child at dinner table

Funny, I heard it said the other day that when asked how we are doing? The new “fine,” has become, “busy, but good.” This truly resonated with me, because I find myself uttering that exact statement more often than not.

I find myself frequently wishing I had just a little more time in my day to get everything done. Days are spend moving through the demands, seeking the end of the day when we can finally kick our heels up and relax.

We move throughout our day mindlessly, task focused, like mice on an exercise wheel, going through the motions, doing what each subsequent moment demands of us without contemplation. Does that sound familiar?

What if it were different? What if as we moved throughout our day, we paused at subsequent moments to ask, “Does what I am about to do make sense for my peace and well-being?” “Is it something that “must” occur?” “How am I doing?” “What do I need right now?” “Is what I am about to choose to do, truly a “must?”

Let’s examine the answer someone gave me today after coming home from work when describing their typical afternoon and evening. She said, errands have to be run, dinner has to be made, clean up has to happen, quality time must occur with my children and spouse, we have to pick up around the house, children must have gone to school and their various practices, help with their homework must occur, I must read with them every night, calls and texts that have come in that day must be returned, and then I typically sit down.”

I thought, wow, that’s a lot and it all makes sense, seems all necessary, right? But, then I thought for a moment. Was there truly nothing that family could put off for another time? Was there truly nothing that could be eliminated or altered in some way? I thought, did dinner really have to be made every night, or couldn’t they just choose to pick up something already made that day or make a fun filled breakfast for dinner that takes half the time of their typical pre-planned spread. Couldn’t the cleaning wait until a time on the weekend when everyone could pitch in? Did all children’s practices have to be attended every time they occurred or was it okay to occasionally make the call that today is just too much and slowing down seems a better fit for our family.

These are tough calls. But they are only calls to be made when we force ourselves to check in. Mary and Martha remind us that Christ desires nothing for us, than to literally “sit down” and connect with Him. He desires for us to be at a place of peace and mindfulness. But we have to pause and reflect to be able to do this.

I encourage you to try this out tomorrow.  Make it a point to “check in” during your typical busy routine, “reflect” on your true priorities and “actively choose” what makes the most sense for your peace and well-being. Make an intentional decision rather than following the rote routine life so frequently demands. We are trying to do it all, yet we wonder why we are walking around stressed, angry, exhausted, distracted and yearning for more space in our day to just relax. I encourage you to listen to your body, listen to your soul and make a choice. You will be at such a better place to fulfill the demands of the very next moment and trust me, they’re coming!