About 10 days ago, in the midst of Christmas vacations, when everything had slowed down for us and we just enjoyed being, I made a promise to myself that no matter what, I wouldn't let myself be caught in the rat race again once our daily routine returned. I was hoping I could find pockets of time where I could take the time to breathe, slow the pace down, and appreciate quiet moments in our busy life.
A week into our every day, and I'm catching my breath. Last week was the first week back of school, dance, client meetings, gymnastics, hurried suppers, late nights, and round we go again at the dawn of the day. It didn't take long to feel that I was going through the motions and trying (failing) to slow down the pace.
It seems like it was all "go-go-go" with rarely a "slow-slow-slow". Don't get me wrong, in that I feel privileged and fortunate to have such a busy, full life. I'm happy that my kids are so involved in activities they love and I don't mind playing taxi. I volunteer for a few organizations that I love to be a part of. And I don't mind saying "no" to obligatoins when it feels too much and I need to catch my breath.
What bothers me is the feeling I have that I'm constantly spinning, or running in my wheel like a hamster, expanding huge amounts of energy just to try and keep up with life. Maybe it's a sign that I don't feel in control of the pace, and so the question is, how do I get that feeling back.
I've accepted that my kids are at a stage when they are busy, and so my life isn't going to slow down for quite some time yet. That's fine. But I don't want to get so caught up in the motion that I stop noticing the moments that make life meaningful and fun, and rich and beautiful. I don't want life to go by so fast, because we're so busy, that I look back at the end thinking "I'm done already?" Because I have noticed that the years feel shorter and shorter, and as I age and think of my youth and early adulthood, I think "seriously, already". I want to feel that I have lived every day to its fullest, savouring the passing of time, delecting in the seconds that pass and feeling satisfied at the end of the day, rather than simply go through the rat race, at a crazy pace, not realizing that while I'm busy keeping up with the day, I forget that life is happening around me.
So. What's a girl to do with that dilemma? Accepting that life is busy while living it to the fullest and not letting the rat race take over? How do I keep my ME from being swallowed by the daily grind? I think it happens by reminding myself every day to try and create some pockets of time just for ME. From connecting with my body, rather than staying in my head, by feeling the chair that I sit on, savouring the bites of food and the flavours that I taste, and whenever I can, affirming that I can slow the pace down in little moments taken here and there through the day. It's a conscious shift of perspective that I need to remind myself to do in order to keep my head above the current. It's do-able, and it needs to be a priority, daily. I might even try praying once a day, to see if connecting with a higher power, can somehow help me feel more peaceful and settled, rather than rushed and overwhelmed.
Enter today. An opportunity to slow down, with no appointments. A chance to clean up my desk and catch up on administrative duties. A happy day, where my efforts are taking care of myself are starting to pay off. And at 3 p.m., a calm Mom ready to face the afternoon business. Until.....Logan arrived home with a tooth trauma, as a result of a face-plant on an icy patch of the school yard. A mad rush to the dentist. A return home to Jaime going with Tyler to dance, a quick makeshift supper of soft foods for the boy....and now that quiet has returned, a beer and writing this blog...for ME. A thirty-minutes pocket of time I am grateful to have gotten. Sure I was supposed to go workout while Jaime went dancing (my routine), but in the light of today's event, even though I felt a bit guilty, I decided that what I needed most was quiet, writing, and simply put, a chance to slow things down a bit.