Are you running at a frenetic pace? Maybe even running on fumes because you’ve used up all your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical energy?
My friend, it doesn’t have to be this way.
We tend to be conditioned to be high achievers. I think of the WWII poster of a woman with her hair in a red scarf, flexing her bicep, and boldly declaring “We can do it!”
Yes, we can, but what is “it?” And at what cost, if our “it” doesn’t align with our values?
Let’s dig deeper into the “why” behind that need to manage our time wisely. Why do you do the things you do? Do the things you do line up with your values? Have you taken the time to consciously examine what you value in life, or are you living at such a frenetic pace that life feels fleeting and you don’t feel you have time for such introspection?
Trust me, make the time. It will save you time and stress in the long run.
For instance, if family is one of your highest values, you may choose to work, stay at home, or a combination, during the years of raising your children. That decision could be made on a multitude of factors.
My journey was a bit of both. I decided to stay home shortly after our first child was born, for several reasons. Family is one of my top values, but even with me working, we couldn’t afford childcare and I needed to step away from my job for several reasons, including the onset of chronic pain conditions. That onset of chronic pain, I have learned over the years, was most likely triggered in part by the toxicity and stress of being in a career that was not in line with my values. That’s a whole other post for another day.
Later, however, when our children entered their mid-teens, I began to look toward empty-nesting and recognized my mental health needed me to attempt a return to some type of work, which led me to a time of deeper exploration of my values. Family may be a top value for me, but as my family dynamics began to shift, I needed to realign it with my other values. Plus, my growing children needed me to value them in a different way that allowed them more space to define their own values. What better way to help our children form their values than to lead by being a healthy example?
It could be that your family needs your financial contribution by working, or maybe you recognize that working is better for your mental health than being home. On the other side, a mom with the same value of family could also choose to stay at home, with her own personality, life circumstances and other values informing her decision to do so. In either situation, some of us would go stir crazy while others are content. And, as in my case, it may not be an either/or, but a both/and for you. Either way, the “why” is in the best interests of your value of family.
After all, you know the saying, “When mama ain’t happy…”
Pile on top of that a study released in 2018, which reflected that being a mom is the equivalent of 2.5 full time jobs. That does NOT include any employment the mother may have.
This is only one example of many we can consider. If we are living life by making choices through the lens of what we value, our time can be fulfilling and well spent. We must choose wisely based upon our “why.”
Doesn’t fulfilling sound better than frenetic?
I leave with you this prayer, from The Book of Common Courage, by therapist and author K. J. Ramsey:
May I learn to see
my symptoms of stress
not as proof of pathology
but as portals into God’s presence.
May I bless
my soul’s great refusal
to live at an inhuman pace.
May I dwell
in the home
Be encouraged to take the time to explore your “why.” Refuse to “live at an inhuman pace” and dig deeper into your values so they can serve as a lens for the choices you make each day. By living in line with your values, you’ll likely find not only less stress, but a renewed energy for the things you do and a fulfillment of knowing you’re being your most authentic self.
May we find ourselves in the “home of grace.”