Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is
the only one you know you have for sure.” Oprah
My mother used to be famous for telling our family: “It’s hard work having a good time.” I was remembering that as I sat nursing a bump on the head from forgetting to duck under an open cabinet door while rushing around setting up camp this weekend. At the same time, I was thinking about writing this column and wondering what to write about.
We used to laugh when mom said “it is hard work having a good time” but the more I live life, the more I realize the truth of it. Life seems to be all about hurrying to DO things. We seem to try to pack in as much as we can into each day. The more we put into the schedule, the more stressful the day becomes. For one thing, nothing ever goes as quickly or as easily as we plan, thanks to things like traffic, the weather, the unexpected phone calls or unplanned things we simply have to deal with. The meeting we planned doesn’t happen because the Zoom connection was bad, or the other person forgot, or they had an emergency or something.
Life in the fast lane. There is an explosion in one part of the world, and it is world news within the same hour. What precautions do you take to erase some of that stress daily? Or, do you just let it build up until you realize you are exhausted.
How long is your To Do List? The busier we are the more we think we can add to the daily To Do List. After all, we are very fast and efficient at getting things done. Or, at least, that is what we tell ourselves.
To change this pattern, you have to be conscious of (aware of) so much from minute-to-minute in your day. Start by becoming aware of not over-booking yourself and not underestimating how long it takes to do things. That is a tough one for most of us. If you are honest with yourself, you will recognize that you underestimate most everything from how long it takes to drive to work to how long it takes to write that report. I spent years estimating my drive to the office from Mandeville to Metairie was 30 minutes. It is and always has been 40 minutes – even with no traffic or bad weather.
And, most important, I will bet that none of you think about putting a real break into your To- Do-List, a period where you can just BE for a few minutes, breathe, stretch, drink some water, and STOP THINKING! Why not put the paper down and take a few minutes right now to just BE.