I am in the process of reevaluating my life.
I’m looking at what I’ve convinced myself is important and what is actually important.
I’m looking at what will matter 20 years from now and what won’t. What my kids and I will remember and cherish and what won’t even show up on the radar when everyone is all grown up and out of the house.
I seem to be hyper aware of the rate at which time is passing and how quickly the kids are growing up.
And I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time.
I’ve been working and working and working.
I’ve been scheduling and scheduling and scheduling.
I’m always busy.
My kids want my attention and I keep allowing myself to be sucked back into things that take it away from them.
And they are growing up and I’m missing so much in my busy-ness.
A couple weeks ago I saw a post floating around Facebook:
I want days without a schedule to keep.
Hours left open for unplanned adventure.
Moments of true stillness.
I want a live outside of our busy schedule — a life with time to live.
Here is my reminder for all of us. Or more specifically a reminder to me.
YOU ARE MAKING YOUR OWN SCHEDULE.
If you are living a life that doesn’t include time to live, then I have good news for you.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THAT!
And you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.
Especially if what you are doing is preventing you from truly living.
Really. You don’t!
You don’t have to do anything.
Yes, there are consequences to not doing things.
If you don’t feed and clothe your kids, if you don’t have routines and limits and consistency, if you don’t send them to school, there will be consequences.
Probably consequences you don’t want.
You don’t want your kids taken away from you and you don’t want your kids to be unhealthy or unsafe.
BUT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO DOING TOO MANY THINGS, TOO.
And just as you can neglect your kids by not doing enough, you can also neglect your children by doing too much.
I think we conveniently forget this.
I know I have!
It’s clearly neglectful to not feed your kids.
But what about when you are so overscheduled that you fail to live in the moment with them? To be so mentally and physically fried that you might be in the same physical space as them but you are completely checked out?
Isn’t that also neglect?
According to Merriam Webster it s.
To give little attention or respect to.
So often we arrange these schedules and routines and activities and events for our kids and what we fail to realize is that we are neglecting to just enjoy them.
And we are making it next to impossible for them to enjoy us.
Because we run ourselves into the ground and then we are tired and bitchy and short-tempered and… salty.
And then we talk about how overwhelmed we are and how crazy and insane our lives are.
But we do this to ourselves!
And sometimes we forget that.
The beauty of being a grown up is that you get to do pretty much whatever you want.
And if you are doing stuff right now that isn’t working for you and your family you can change it!
You can cut back on activities. You can cut back on sports. You can cut back on volunteering and driving and you can cut back on the chaos and the craziness and the insanity.
A while ago I saw something else posted on Facebook.
I can’t remember exactly what it said. But the gist of it was that all the focus and attention and effort a mom had was going to her kids.
It was meant to be funny.
But it was really more sad, and the last line stuck with me.
It said something like,
“I’m just over here making sure my kids live their best life.”
It doesn’t have to be like that.
I get that things get busy once your kids get into school.
But by killing yourself to make sure your kids can do all the things, you are still killing yourself.
And in reality, your kid isn’t living his or her best life if you aren’t an active participant in it.
You can have moments of stillness.
You can have a life outside your busy schedule.
You can have a life with time to live.
You just have to design it. And you can.
That’s one of the biggest perks of being a grown up.
I don’t know about you.
But that’s a perk I’m going to start taking advantage of right now.