Life can be a little too fast-paced sometimes. The mounting to-do lists, the feeling that there is just not enough time in the day to accomplish everything, the rushing from one commitment to another.
I really don’t like feeling rushed. My son notices it immediately when I am on “fast mode” and the impatience, distraction, and stress that I wear outwardly in this mode directly affects him.
“Are you happy, Mommy?”
“Yes, I’m just trying to be fast.”
And then I think to myself, “But really, Andrea, what’s the rush?” Certainly, if there is a doctor’s appointment to be at, a church service to attend, a preschool class beginning, there is a need to be quick and efficient to honor the time of an important event. Often, though, I realize that I’ve created the sense of rush in my head. Some things aren’t as critical as I make them out to be. Sometimes there is just no need to rush.
I am trying to slow down. For my own sake and for the sake of my kids. For anyone and everyone around me. So that I can enjoy them more and they can enjoy me more.
I have recently begun to enjoy making pizza from scratch on a Saturday. Sure, I love to do family outings or get out by myself for a little bit on the weekend. But sometimes I just like to stay home, with no to-do-list, and make pizza. My son likes to help. We make a mess of the kitchen and floor, and the pizza is devoured in a matter of minutes, but we were there. In that moment. We measured and counted and mixed and kneaded and rolled and chopped and grated and sprinkled. No other distractions. Just cooking.
I also like to sit down, pen in hand, and work on my boys’ baby books. I spend the first little while reading over what I’ve already recorded, reminiscing over photos, giggling over memories forgotten. No other distractions.
Sometimes I give my 6 month old a bath for the sole reason of giving my son a bath. Not because he’s covered in oatmeal or because he’s pooped all over himself. But just to feel the warm water on my hands and his silky smooth skin beneath my fingers. Just to watch him curiously grab for any and every toy that floats by his face.
Some days I like put on my sky-blue dish gloves and wash the dishes by hand even when I could put them in the dishwasher. I notice the light shining in through the kitchen window, making the stainless steel pots shimmer, the towel on the counter getting soaking wet from upturned mugs slowly drying.
Other days I make a big pot of soup. I peel and chop an entire squash, slice onions, mince garlic. Saute. Boil. Simmer. Blend.
During all of these activities I am enjoying the moment, noticing what is right in front of me. I am not browsing Facebook or mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest. I’m not checking my blog stats or trying to complete other chores.
When I take the time to slow down, to make that pot of soup or play on the floor with my kids, I realize that life isn’t as busy as I think. And there is a whole lot of beauty and peace waiting to be discovered in those moments.
What are some activities you do that help you slow down and enjoy the moment?