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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

Are you living life in the fast lane? Well, STOP!

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Do you ever feel like “real” and “meaningful” life is passing you by while you sit there, hand glued to the wheel, racing towards some fictional or unimportant deadline?

Does it seem like you are moving on overdrive while everyone else around you is peacefully riding on cruise control?

The truth is, you have the power to slow down, and you should slow down, and so should I.

I’ve been like this, my whole life and by “this,” I mean running around like Speedy Gonzales.

I have never enjoyed sitting still. Idleness for me is frightening, and I have always been the kind of person that desires to be busy.

My family used to call me “motor-mouth” because when I felt passionate about something, I wouldn’t let anyone else get a word in. Heck, my husband still calls me that if I try to monopolize the “verbal floor” during a disagreement.

Point being, whether it is my mouth, body, or mind, I am always busy.

Despite the negative viewpoint others had (and may still have) of my fast-paced attitude towards life, for me being busy has always made me happy.

Or has it?

I guess that is where I am in a place of uncertainty. With some introspection and analysis, I have concluded that there is a barrenness that accompanies a busy life, but, at the same time, productiveness. I think the key to this whole idea of being and staying busy, but at the same time, remaining happy, is the holy grail of -- yep, you guessed it -- balance.

And, guess what?

It is possible to achieve balance in your daily life, and many do that via mindfulness practices. Since I, conversely, am one of those that don't want to alter my busy lifestyle too much, but would still appreciate a bit more some serenity, productiveness, and joy, here are my tips:

— Stop trying to look busy, unless you actually are busy and ensure that your being busy is the means to reach a sought-after goal, not just a facade.

–Make sure that your “mission” for the day is productive and if you are going to rush around, do so because positive effects are apparent.

— Be more flexible and understand that it is okay to be busy, but that there is more than one path to goals; both short and long-term.

— Don’t be cocky about your busy lifestyle because, to be honest, most people probably don't envy it, and they may even pity you for it.

–On occasion, doubt yourself because I do believe that the most productive and successful people leave room for self-doubt. If you weren't aware, doubt is capable of, and likely to, increase your productivity, and it has been suggested that it will lead to better performance and outcomes.

— Prioritize. Since busy people have so much stuff to do, you need to organize your “to-do” list and time-block.

Listen. I know that slowing down when you are a “go, go, go” person is hard.

The mere idea of trying to slow down makes me anxious.

A busy-bee is who I am.

I will never be a woman that is capable of meditation or relaxation via yoga, and I will never stand in front of a mirror reciting positive affirmations to calm my mind.

That is not me, and it may not be you either.

What I do vow to do is to slow down some.

Calm down.

Worry less.

Rush less.

Laugh more.

Be more grateful.

Let things (and people) grow.

Be less serious.

Focus and pay attention.

These are all things I think you are capable of too.

Good luck to both of us.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

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