Slow Down

Overbooked Schedule - Checking Watch

I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase “Slow Down” when I was growing up. Slow down and chew your food. Whoa! Slow down - no running in the house. Slow down - kick the ball when you are outside. Wait! Slow down! I don’t think the cat wants to go for a bike ride.

My mom told me slow down at least half a dozen times everyday, but there were so many things that I needed to get done as a child:

  • Ride my bike
  • Climb a tree
  • Catch frogs
  • Play kickball

All of these things were so very important back then. Now, everywhere we turn, life seems to be screaming: hurry up! Hurry up and get the children to school with all of their homework complete, lunches packed, and shoes that match. Dash off to work to finish projects due tomorrow that were assigned yesterday. Race to pick up the children from school so you can feed the tribe and help them with their homework. Then everyone can get to piano lessons, dance class, soccer, basketball or football practice. Finally we get home to fall into bed and repeat tomorrow.

Don’t you wish someone would tell you to slow down? Well, I’m telling you to slow down. We are incredibly overcommitted to projects or activities we don’t need to be doing. How do you get your schedule under control? Try the suitcase method. When you are packing your suitcase for a vacation you:

  • Put everything in there you think you will need
  • Sit on the suitcase to get it closed
  • Open the lid and remove half the stuff you just crammed in the suitcase

We all know we tend to overpack and only really need half of the stuff for our vacation. The same method applies to your day planner. You schedule everything you think you and your family needs to do to become contributing members of society. Use incredibly small font so you can cram all of these activities on each day in your calendar. Nearly get a speeding ticket trying to get to all events. Just slow down and delete half the stuff you just shoved into that calendar.

Your children or grandchildren won’t become derelicts of society because they weren’t involved in after-school activities every day of the week. They need time to ride their bikes, climb trees, catch frogs, and play kickball - with a less stressed-out you. And guess what? You don’t even need to be good at kickball or any of that other stuff. Be really bad at it. It’s called creating memories. Memories your children will treasure. Stories your children will retell many, many times.

If your mom told you to slow down, don’t you think it’s time you listened?