With Adultitis running rampant, it’s not a surprise that one of the major symptoms has become the new normal for many people. What am I speaking of? Being rushed. Do you ever feel rushed? Why? What makes you move so quickly? Whether you want to admit it or not, being rushed is one of the most unappealing traits that you can adopt. You’re letting your outside circumstances rule your reality. You are being reactive, instead of proactive. You say “yes” far too often. It’s time to stop.
In the last six months, in my efforts to adjust to being a mommy, I have had many a temptation to rush. Hurry and get that done while she’s sleeping… real quick, gotta get that phone call made while she’s in daddy’s arms. Go… go… go. When I catch myself running (even if only in my head), I stop and remind myself what the example of my behavior will teach Lucy. Yikes! That stops me in my tracks. Adultitis is highly contagious and as with every other disease out there, the weak and the young are the first to be susceptible. I also remind myself that Jesus was never rushed. He was here for a short 33 years (time was limited). He had a HUGE mission to accomplish (much bigger than yours or mine), and yet he modeled rest and prayer… two major ways to combat rushing.
Honestly, we should all be rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off. Our “to do” lists would attest to that, but it is simply no way to live. The dirty little secret is that if you are rushed all of the time sooner than later people will start to dislike being around you. The even dirtier secret is that you will inevitably start to dislike yourself. Stop the madness! Start with these five steps…
1. Do not over schedule yourself. There’s a lot of talk about kids being over scheduled, and this is often the case, as the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. As my dear friend and colleague Eliz Greene reminds people, saying no to something is actually saying yes to your family and yourself.
2. Lower your expectations. The house doesn’t have to be shiny. The clothes don’t always have to be ironed. Find a way within yourself to let some things go, so that you can create more time.
3. Breathe deep and often. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take some time for yourself. Would you rather have an overnight stay at a hospital or a resort? If the resort is just out of reach, how about an evening bubble bath, a morning walk, or just some silence in the car in the morning? These are all easy gifts to give yourself amidst the busyness.
4. Delegate and cooperate. Don’t be a martyr. Ask for help. Trade services with friends or coworkers. Divide chores in the household. Get creative in your schedule and be willing to admit that you cannot do it all. Jason and I are breaking all sorts of rules in the way we divide up the labor… he cooks, I clean. He grocery shops, I mow. Try to compromise and stick to the things you don’t hate to do.
5. Laugh and play everyday. You officially have permission to be childlike and to bring play back into your life. There’s no excuse for limited laughter in your life. With the Internet at your fingertips, there are countless sites that will help you increase your laugh quota for the day. Start with this one: Awkward Family Photos.