I had an aha moment today.
It was kind of a big one.
For me, anyway.
And I just want to share it with you tonight. So maybe you spend your Sunday thinking about it.
I had a big, long explanation behind this, but I think I’ll save that for another day and just cut to the chase because I hope you will read this.
I am coming off of a few years of insanity, but this past year, from September 2016 to August 2017, was particularly out of control.
By August I was literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
So I made the decision to simplify. To scale back the amount of things I was taking on in my life.
And now that the dust is settling, now that I have room to breathe, now that I am not so overscheduled that I literally can’t remember what I’m doing from one second to the next, I really see how insane I had made my life.
I had made it that way.
It wasn’t because we have a lot of kids.
It was because I had a fear of missing out. I had a fear of not doing enough. I had a fear of saying no. I had a fear of not making enough money.
You fear missing out on stuff, so you do everything. You do swim team and baseball and band and girl scouts and the school play.
And in doing all these things, you actually end up doing the very thing you were trying to avoid.
You miss out.
You miss out on moments with your kids. You miss out on watching one kid because you are driving another kid somewhere else. You miss out on being present. You miss out on taking care of yourself.
You are stressed and exhausted and neglecting yourself in your efforts to make sure no one is missing out on anything.
And ultimately, your whole family suffers. Which is pretty much the thing you thought you were avoiding.
I had the first mindful Saturday I’ve had in a very long time with my family today.
It was a full Saturday, but it wasn’t frenetic.
I was present with my kids. I spent undistracted time with them.
But I was also able to do some things for me.
It was productive day, but it was also enjoyable and restorative.
And that’s what my life has been missing.
There has been no recuperative time in my life for the last few years.
It wasn’t until I slowed down that I have been able to see this.
Slowing down has been eye opening.
I’m not losing my shit nearly as much. I’m in control of my emotions.
I have clarity.
I am a much better parent now, which is ironic.
Doing it all wasn’t giving my kids the best mom I could give them.
But doing less is.
If you are overwhelmed, if you are overscheduled, if you are perpetually feeling like you are going to snap,
you have a choice.
You can choose chaos.
You can choose stress.
You can choose overload.
But you can also choose to change your mind.
You can choose simplicity.
You can choose quality.
You can choose ease.
For the first time in my life, I felt some ease today.
I could regret the amount of time, the days, the months, the years I’ve spent living a life of dis-ease.
But I think maybe I needed to live that way for as long as I did in order to learn this lesson.
I’m grateful for clarity now.
We all have a choice.
And if the route you have chosen is taking you on a ride you’re not enjoying anymore, the good news is you can always choose to take a different path, too.