We live in such a fast-paced, almost frenzied culture, that I think most of us could relate to thinking that Busy could be our middle names. Society seems to make a competition out of busyness, with the most high-fives passed out to those with the most hectic lifestyles. People are usually rushing somewhere, racing to appointments and practices, hurrying through errands and constantly contending with time.
It’s amazing what people can and do accomplish, and I believe that some busyness is good. However, I’ve noticed that with increased volume, quality decreases. Quality time focused on relationships is one of the first things to go when the schedule fills up. I have to ask myself, ‘Is this the point of life?’ Is it better to run my kids to exhaustion and not even take the time to casually sit with them and listen to their stories and laugh at their corny jokes?
Frankly, I don’t think busy is better. This isn’t to say that I’m a master at minimizing my family’s schedule, but I do believe that when it comes to life schedules, less is more (cue Charmin’s theme song). Also, I don’t write this to point fingers and criticize. I do hope this article will remind us (myself included) that when considering heaping on activities to our families’ days, let’s also consider the importance of quality downtime. Busy is not always best.
For most of the 9 years my hubs and I have been married, we’ve had access to a clothesline. Here’s where you wonder how on earth I’ll segue from the topic of busy to that of clotheslines.
Well, I have to say, after hanging laundry for 7-8 summers, I’ve noticed that hanging laundry on the line forces me to slow down. You may be thinking, ‘hanging laundry sounds way more time-consuming, hands-on and labor-intensive than tossing the clothes in the dryer.’ You have a point; that’s why dryer companies make dryers.
But, when I hang laundry, there are at least 10 minutes that I’m breathing fresh air, soaking up the sun and the breeze, and therapeutically chilling. A few hours later, I get to reexperience the benefits when I take down the dry laundry. The chirping birds, my retired neighbors who walk over to visit, and slowly performing a mundane task (you can only rush it so much) really help me slow down the pace of our day.
Then what? Race off to the grocery store? Sometimes, yes. Either way, when I’ve taken 10 minutes to breathe and chill (and still be productive – yay!), my day as a wife and mom improves.
What helps you slow down and get away from the breakneck pace of our society? Please leave positive comments below 🙂