No one will disagree that modern life can get insanely busy — if we let it. Are we too busy though? How to Slow Down so we can enjoy time with the people we love…..
How comfortable are we when we don’t have anything to distract us? Are we content when we’re not accomplishing something, moving ahead in our goals or helping others? Is our sense of worth tied to our busyness? Are we a slave to recognition? Are we lonely when we’re by ourselves? It is important not only to reflect upon such questions but to decide to behave differently.
Perhaps we could set aside five minutes of ‘thinking time’ a day. Some people might just ‘be’ while others may choose to meditate or pray. We might also do well to engage in a solitary activity from time to time or even develop a hobby that we quietly enjoy ourselves. Instead of only reading work-related journals, we should read outside of our area of expertise and read for pure pleasure.
Many of us are performance-oriented and driven by success and competition. We should acknowledge that one day we may be at a loss to know what to do with ourselves when our career is over, retirement beckons, or perhaps we become physically unable to actively pursue the same interests. Can we still be happy even when we’re not busy?
We need to slow down and savor life — not rush through it and miss so much potential beauty and happiness along the way. It is entirely possible to discipline ourselves to slow down and be more fully present in each human interaction and each solitary moment of our day. By the time we are in our 40’s and 50’s, time is moving fast and it is even more important to slow it down and enjoy.
Being fully present is impossible if we are constantly rushing about, going over our ‘to do’ list or mentally reviewing the meeting we just left. To be fully present is to give 100% attention to the task at hand or to whomever we’re talking. It means maintaining a comfortable degree of eye contact, verbally showing comprehension and asking open-ended questions.
Applied to family life, trying to slow down and be more present brings irreplaceable rewards. The dignity of each family member is recognized and deeper relationships result. The next time your child or a young person asks for attention in some way be reminded that nothing is more important or sends a message of love more than willingly giving them your time. It’s a gift of self.
Do not miss the truly important parts of life by being too preoccupied and busy. Slow down!
Resolve today to:
• Look for the beauty around you
• Begin to read a book for pleasure
• Spend some quiet time alone
• Listen better
• Spend some time visiting with family and/or friends