What I need in my life is a little more peace. And you probably need it in yours too.
Right now I’ve found it, so I feel like I should write about it. Let me describe it to you. It’s called sitting quietly on a deck in the shade on a pond on the Cape (sadly with my computer on, but until then, I was doing pretty good).
Still, most of the time, life is harried and life is full. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but a recent NYT article about being busy make me think a little more about how I could be a little less busy and find a lot more peace.
How much ‘busy’ do you bring upon yourself? And how can you make it better? Because busy = stress, and stress = unhealthy. I’ll spare you the research today, but we know the links between stress and heart disease are clear. Making it better starts by looking at your life, under a microscope, finding ways to improve, and then making changes. Because better health starts with better life. That simple.
Let’s take the morning. You wake up. And then it begins. If you have kids, it really begins. Here’s how my morning typically shapes up.
5:30am wake up
6am running shoes on and out the door (I try to make this happen 3 days a week)
6:45 back home in time for husband to depart and in the shower. By now, Sonia’s up, asking for milk, fighting about brushing her teeth, picking out her clothes, and wanting to watch TV (see, as I said, if you have kids, it really begins).
7am pry sleeping boy out of bed to get ready for school (or camp) or if summer, let him sleep until his heart desires. Then he showers, eats, hunts for the stuff he forgot to put in his backpack until now (or better yet, forgot to tell us he would need us to buy for him until now!)
7:45 try try try to get out the door to get him to school on time
8am NPR on and driving the 30-40 minutes it takes me to go all of 8 miles to work
Ahh. Deep breath. Let the rest of the day begin. Ironically, as my son said to me when I dropped him off to camp the other day (a camp which he seriously disliked and if he were older and had a denser vocabulary of inappropriate words, they would have been used to describe this experience!), ‘It’s not fair, mom, at least you get to go to work…’
I love these little people. And pretty much I love my life. But there’s got to be a way to make this ‘busy’ better.
Some ideas I will try to implement in search of AM peace:
1. Plan plan plan plan plan – I don’t do it nearly enough. The backpacks are never packed the night before. The permission slips are rarely signed and in the bag in advance. Shoes are never ready and waiting by the door (usually one is under the sofa, the other is in the back of the closet!). I’m pretty sure my mornings would be much saner if we did these things. I know already my evenings are when my dinner menu is planned out… plan plan plan.
2. Get up 15 minutes earlier – Don’t you think this would totally work? I mean, if you are getting up at 5:30 or 6 or 6:30 anyway, what’s another 15 minutes? Then you could get everything together and have a few minutes to yourself to drink the coffee before it gets cold. Brilliant. I’m gonna start doing it. The corollary, of course, is going to bed earlier, which is just as hard to implement.
3. Just say no – This is not an 80s commercial about drugs. It’s about doing stuff, saying yes to doing stuff, saying yes to doing too much stuff. It’s your life. You decide what you do. Choose to do things that are impactful – for your work, for your life, for your children, for your marriage. Say no to the things that aren’t. As the title of this Harvard Business Review blog states, ‘If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.’
I’m headed back to the lake. There is no ‘busy’ in my life today (unless too much swimming, eating lobster rolls, and playing mini-golf counts as busy!). Hoping to absorb some of this peace and drag it back home with me.
Today’s rx: a little less busy and a lot more peace.