I know, I know. Bloggers sharing their “word for 2014” is so last week. And sharing a New Year’s resolution? Well, that is just so 2012. But I really want to write about my word, so here we go.
My word came to me easily.
Yes, that’s it. Just, pause. I briefly considered Balance, bcause really that is the thing I want to change – the lack of balance I’ve been feeling in my life. I have so much on my plate and keep heaping on more and things feel amiss. And yes, my a new role as Family Room Editor at Bonbon Break means I’m only going to be busier, but that is a fun busy. When I was unloading to my mom last week about this whole lack-of-balance thing, I realized that while blogging has made it that much harder to make time for other things that are important to me, I also enjoy it far to much to give it up. So, here we are.
|Original image by Ishai Parasol via Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.|
I need more balance. I need a way to continue writing in my free time, yet also fit in the other things I love to do. I love to garden, yet I barely touched my flowerbeds last summer. Pilates and yoga rejuvenate me, yet I rarely make classes anymore. Most of all I need to unplug more around my children. “You do a lot with the boys,” my mom assures me. But in my heart of hearts I know – I’m distracted. I’m all “just a minute” but I really mean “don’t bother me right now because I’m busy.” And ever since we moved Bee has been asking me about five thousand times a day to play with him (only a very slight exaggeration), which could be his age but I think is also a sign that he needs his momma’s time and attention.
Most of us wish we could be more balanced, that we had the magic formula that would allow us to take time to nurture ourselves while also being great parents and great partners and, oh yes, great employees, friends, daughters/sons, sisters/brothers, neighbors… You get the picture.
But how in the heck do we get there? I could have chosen Balance as my word, but that is the goal. How do I get there? Pause.
Pause. Ask myself, “What do I really want to do today?”
Pause. Step away from whatever seems so important on my to-do list and play with my boys for 20 minutes.
Pause. Put emails and bill paying and dish washing on hold for now. It will be there in an hour. Get outside. Pop in a yoga video and have the boys join me.
Pause. Is this really important right now? Can it wait?
Pause. Am I satisfied with how I spent my time today?
The to-do list never ends and I can get sucked in for hours. So I’ve started setting a timer. Bee goes down for nap. I set the timer for 90 minutes and work until it goes off. That’s it. Done. The rest can wait. And sometimes when Bee wants to play, I set the timer for 20 minutes. I can relax, I know we aren’t playing forever. I know things that need to get done will get done, in a little while, but for now my boy needs me.
Today I took our dog with me to the bus stop to meet Zip. “Let’s go for a walk,” I said when he got off the bus. When is the last time we went for a walk? When is the last time I was outside without thinking about everything I needed to be doing inside? It was chilly, but the sun was shining. “Wait a minute! Let me go get my scooter!” he said. And today I didn’t tell him, Hurry, or We don’t have time, I need to get back inside. Today I waited for him and we made a little loop around the block, me with our arthritic old dog, Zip on his scooter beside me. And it felt good.
Happy New Year.