When you look back on the past year, do you wonder where did the time go? Do you feel like you are so busy during the day that at the end of the day you think to yourself, ‘what did I even get done today?’ We blink and another month or year of “getting through the day” has gone by. I am going to share with you the secret to slowing down your busy life.
There are so many problems with going through life like a zombie. We can easily give our life more purpose by knowing what we want out of it, but that is for another day. Today I want to tell you about the in-between moments and how to slow down your busy life when you feel like you are standing in the middle of the highway with everything in life flying by and you are just running trying to keep up with the cars.
My Perfect Sunday
I am in public accounting, which for those of you that don’t know, means that from January through mid-March, I work mandatory 55 hours. This generally includes working on Saturdays. I share more about these struggles as a working (outside-the-home) Mom in my about me page. This means that Sundays are very precious to me this time of year. My life is very chaotic most days. I have a lot of big goals and dreams that I am chasing when I am not chasing my toddler.
This Sunday, in particular, was not necessarily a productive Sunday, but a perfect one nonetheless. It was not a special day, a birthday nor a holiday. Today was not a day that will be remembered by anyone else, but I was reminded of a valuable life lesson today. Our lives are made up of the in-between moments and they are just as important to our lives. Life is not just about surviving every day between the holidays and life events, it’s about recognizing the small moments to be grateful for and trying to improve ourselves daily.
Fortunately, this Sunday was beautiful! We were able to go to the park as a family and just enjoy the beautiful weather. It is so much fun watching our little boy grow so much! He is all over the park with a mind of his own. He climbs the stairs and goes down the slides all by himself! One of the benefits of living in central Texas is the amazing weather. Right now in February, it is 75 degrees outside. You would not think it was winter.
It is the perfect distance for us to get a little exercise to walk there and chase him around the place. Then we walked back just in time for nap-time! It worked out perfectly. In the picture below, you can see that he started to get a little sleepy at the park. It only lasted a minute and he was back running around. He is so adventurous.
I am trying to work on my tan early in the year. With our second child due at the end of May, I am not sure how much time I will have to devote to tanning. When Brayden was born, I was pretty much locked in the house all summer with an infant. Starting as early as May in central Texas, the temperature can reach up to 90+ degrees, which is excessively hot for both mom and newborn baby. When it is that hot, our greatest concern is dehydration. When your baby is so young and drinks so little, giving him water can fill up his little belly with water and the not nutritious milk he needs. It is recommended that you don’t give babies water until 6 months old.
My plan to keep this free tan is to tan earlier in the year like on beautiful days in February and to take advantage of naptime. Being a first-time mom with Brayden, I was always nervous to leave him inside napping for very long, even with our baby monitor. Needless to say, I was very pale that year.
After we put Brayden down for his afternoon nap, my in-laws came over and we enjoyed the sunshine outside for probably about an hour. It was great and so relaxing.
(In this picture, it is hard to believe I am 5 months pregnant!)
In case you didn’t know, it was also Superbowl Sunday – and it was a great Superbowl! The game was exciting, the commercials were great and the halftime show was amazing! My husband and I got a babysitter for the game, as you can see below.
We don’t usually let our son use the iPad mini, except to maybe watch movies on long drives. Here is the case we use, and it works great! We just let him watch Kids YouTube and he did not turn away from it. Some of the videos are a little weird, but a lot of the ones he was watching were surprisingly educational. We let him use it for about an hour and we finally wrestled it away from him. He was not happy about that, but it was getting a little crazy.
This Sunday might seem pretty boring or even relaxing with no chaos to you. It still had the laundry, the struggles of feeding a picky toddler, getting everything ready for the week. And if you are like me, this type of day can stress you out because there are so many things I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done to be productive. What I realized though, is that sometimes life is not just about chasing your goals and your toddler. If you are constantly chasing one thing after another, you look up and life has passed you by.
My secret to solving this problem might seem counterintuitive, but I promise it works! The secret is to stop chasing the cars! Take a few minutes and just stop.
You don’t have to be busy or productive all the time to have a purpose. Somedays you need some R&R and to just be present. The secret to successfully pausing your life is recognizing this moment in time as special and peaceful and as a memory. Take a few minutes to just reflect on your day. Remember something funny or surprising that happened.
How to do it?
The one thing that helps me pause and slow life down is keeping a gratitude journal. This can really help you remember and appreciate these small things that make up our lives. I don’t necessarily use a gratitude journal; I write it in my Day Designer Daily Planner that I love! (They are coming out with there 2018-2019 academic calendar ones soon!) It helps me plan each day and stay productive. It also has a perfect little spot for me to fill in what I am grateful for that day. If you go to the link here you can see pictures of what the gratitude section looks like. This little habit only requires 30 seconds of reflection and really helps me appreciate these moments.
Whatever works best for you an app, a journal, or like me your planner, I really encourage you to try this habit for a few weeks and see if it helps you press pause on your life. I think you will find you that life is not flying by, but that you are living a full life of tons of small special moments!
(Look at these handsome boys!)