Busy keeping up with the Jones?

Is your life busy, perhaps too busy?
Are you running around constantly finding that you are exhausted by the end of the day?
Do you find it stressful to try and make time for yourself?
I certainly used to be like this and when I did find time for myself I resented any interruption.
My free time was spent trying desperately to unwind. For me this was with the huge wine glass, music, friends and enough wine to take the edge off.
During these times I never truly felt relaxed, well sure I was alcohol-relaxed but inside of myself there was not a sense of peace.
When I woke the day after it wasn’t as if I felt rejuvenated, if anything I resented the ending of the fun.
I felt like a dog chasing its tail. 
We hear everyday how important it is to find the balance in life but how the heck did I do that?
The first thing I did was to check my motivation for each item on the schedule.
This was an enlightening process, I really rooted down the base reason and was surprised at how much was based within the illogical need to please others. Many of the busy items were actually just there to assist me in avoiding looking at myself. Being busy helped me ignore my frustrations, I didn’t have to deal with my emotions when I was otherwise occupied.
After performing this inventory, I removed the clutter from my life. My children wouldn’t suffer if they weren’t in every activity available, my friends would understand if we didn’t attend every social function available.
Now we sign up for only one activity per child per season. We keep specific nights of each week for family time. On these nights we spend time together and refuse invitations from others as much as possible.
Just doing those two small things have simplified our lives dramatically. We aren’t running around keeping up with schedules, our time is more relaxed in general. With my injuries and mental challenges a speedy life would have been impossible and the slow lane lifestyle has allowed our children to flourish and hubby and I to stay connected.
 In day to day life I’ve learned to look closely more often.
It’s not just a scheduled concerted effort anymore.
I have taken personal inventory of my life, identified my weaknesses, and slowed everything down.
Listen, we can all run through life but what will we miss?
If I reach the age of 80 I aim to have some shocking purple hair, the gaudiest printed mumu I can find, shocking red lipstick and I imagine I’ll spend some of my time reflecting upon my life. It would be cool to be satisfied that I had truly experienced it. My goal is no longer to have new “stuff”, for my children to have lessons in everything, to have always achieved greatness in each field of materialistic life possible.
My goal is to look back and be able to “feel” my life. For it to have been a tangible existence of which I’m proud. To know that I didn’t pull all the weeds from my life but that I did manage to work around them, to realize the beauty of each stage.
If I could give advice which is garnished from this journey I’m on I would tell other people to stop living a busy existence. I would urge them to slow down, check their motivation, to realize their true self, to nurture their potential and take time to plug in to their spirituality.
Living this journey on a spiritual plane is liberating, the feeling of being centered in God creates a true confidence in my choices and how I perform the tasks of daily living.
It allows me to look closely at the things and people around me and see the richnes and beauty among the challenges.  

1 Corinthians 3:18-21
No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written:  He catches the wise in their craftiness and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are futile.  So no one should boast in men, for all things are yours:
AA Twelve and Twelve pg 114
As we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instinctual drives need to undergo drastic revisions. Our demands for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power all have to be tempered and redirected. We learn that the full satisfaction of these or we shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first — then and only then do we have a real chance to grow in healthy awareness and mature love.

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6 Responses

  1. Great post, full of wisdom. It's true we all need a reminder to slow down. My hubby tells me this when I feel the need to rush here and there. He said; "Traveling is part of the journey. Stop thinking only of the destination."

  2. Julie, this is such an important post about slowing down and being present!I adore your process and how aware you are of exactly what you need!Fabulous post!

  3. Well, I just turned 70 last week, but my hair isn't purple and I don't wear mumus, but my life slowed down a long time ago. Granted there are some things that just are slower because I CAN'T do them anymore, but I used to run and around and spin my wheels and found out that 80% of the time I wasn't doing it because it was important in my life or my daughter's life, but because somebody somewhere wanted me to do it. Back in the late 70's I finally realized that "NO" is a complete sentence. There need be no follow up, no explanation, no would suffice. I did get some funny looks, but soon people began to realize that if I said yes, I would put my whole self into the project and if I said no, then it meant ….no…..! I did go blonde again about 2 weeks ago. My hair is completely white. I've been white, then blonde, then white and now blonde again. And I do have a couple of very comfortable dresses that look suspiciously like a mumu… :-)

  4. The first thing I did was to check my motivation for each item on the schedule.I like this and the idea of what we miss when we just run through life. I also have to keep evaluating my life and cut back. It is a constant struggle as I keep adding new thing! Guess i need to check my motivation before each new thing!

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