09 October 2014

Putting Aside My To Do List For Bigger Things


Yesterday was such a busy day. I feel like this has been one of those week where there is a ton to do and I haven't felt really great. So the pressure to get things done has only felt increased as I have worked slower than I would like.

There were some important priorities I needed to get done yesterday and didn't even get close to getting everything done that I wanted to, even though I was busy. When The Bug came home from school and asked repeatedly to go to the park, I felt it was just impossible that I could make the time to take an hour out of the evening schedule to go sit at the park while she played.

But she quickly got her homework done and again asked. Having said no more often lately than I feel good about, I put aside my priorities and focused on a greater priority, our family life.

Even while I was putting my sneakers on, I felt a lot of angst that I could not afford the time. I did not feel like walking to the park or being around a lot of noisy kids.

But I was inspired by a question I had heard asked of parents recently, "Are you giving your children your best intellectually and creatively?" Was I giving our child the best? Was my reasoning for not going to the park more noble than taking her to the park?

My answer on both accounts was no. And now let's be honest, time outside on a gorgeous, sunny, breezy day wouldn't hurt me either, would it?!?!?!?!!? Sitting, doing something I enjoyed, not harmful, right? And so I did.

I took a little bag of things to do and found a comfy seat on the tiny 3-row bleachers facing the playground. It was lovely. It was relaxing. It was peaceful. There was a good ocean breeze blowing and a beautiful dappled light filtering through the tree tops. Why did I fight this?

After 90 minutes she was asking me to go home because all the boys from her school wanted to play with her and she was just a little overpowered by their high energy. None of her usual girl friends were there. I laughed and we walked home hand in hand. I was relaxed. I was happy.

We got home and I was hurried to make dinner and get her fed and in bed. She was late getting to bed, but we were both happily relaxed throughout the rest of the evening. I got a few good tasks done throughout the evening and even had time to listen to inspiring talks while I worked. I lost nothing by going to the park.

This seems like a lesson I have to learn again and again and again. I hope I'm starting to listen more quickly and more often. Do you have challenges putting down the To Do list to take self-care or family time? How do you make sure it happens?

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