Slowing Down: Reclaiming Sanity


So, I have a problem with over-commitment. It seems that any time there is white space on my calendar, I find some excuse to fill it. My husband often points out that I never just sit. What? Who doesn’t sit? Except, he’s right. In my mind I’ve created a universe where moms don’t have crazy notions of just sitting because there’s always SOMETHING, somewhere that needs tending to. Although that might be true, what’s not true is the level of importance that’s placed on such tasks that come at the high price of my peace and well-being. I catch myself burning at both ends because maybe I struggle with what staying still might mean, and what I might stand to lose.

Lost opportunities?
Being still will come at the expense of opportunities that I won’t be a part of, or some other plate I won’t get around to spin. Maybe that plate could have brought good things, been fun, or made me valuable in someone’s eyes. But like the guy in the circus running from plate to plate to keep them spinning, eventually they’ll start to fall. Taking on more and more tasks, believing it might serve a high purpose means that at some point something is going to break. Choosing to spin fewer plates means being able to better focus and invest in the ones that are the most valuable to YOU, and best use your talents and available time. Developing discernment on which tasks are the most essential and which ones can be punted or postponed will help establish a greater sense of control. Being more calm and controlled will pay long-term dividends in your household, and help the remaining tasks become more enjoyable.

Lost sense of worth?
From time to time, I’m tempted to buy into the myth that busy=worth. If I’m not slaying myself on my job, house, kids, husband, hobbies, duties, etc on a daily basis then I’m knocked down a few pegs in their eyes. Is that real? No. In my case, and I’m guessing in many others’, it’s self-imposed. I’m glad that I have a good work ethic, but how honoring am I to any of these things that I care about if I push myself to burnout and become completely ineffective? Is my worth really just a function of how much stuff I can cram into each day? Wrapping my identity into these various job titles means that I will always feel compelled to do more, and never feel satisfied that it is enough. Stepping down from being everything to everyone all the time means that I can spend time building a relationship with myself, which is necessary for healthy self-esteem and higher quality relationships.

Lost respect?
I have a hard time telling people no. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to disappoint them, or maybe I fear smacking of selfishness by saying no. Taking on more and more at times feels like I’m going for a merit badge in awesomeness, when in reality the exhaustion becomes foolishness. I don’t know if I’m trying to impress others or myself with this constant juggling act. When I see a ‘take charge and get it done’ woman, my husband and kids are seeing some frazzled, tired, and short-fused version of their wife and mom who isn’t as much fun to be around anymore. Even though I might at times lose status with those I say no to, I firmly believe I’m gaining the respect of my family, who deserves to be put first.

Slowing down my life is not a natural skill, I have to intentionally work at it. Prioritizing tasks that have true relational value and are emotionally fulfilling will sustain me more than just being busy. I have to coach myself that my relationships, peace, and well-being are desirable, perhaps more than folded laundry or another committee meeting. Making time for self-care is critical for physical and emotional vitality. So read that book, play in the yard, call a friend, snuggle on the couch, exercise, or just..sit. Your sanity will thank you for it.

Reviews

2 Reviews
Whitney Alexander
Baton Rouge, LA
Associate Pastor for Missions

Very well written and taking care of family and oneself is more important than another good deed. Thank you for honest reflection of caring for ourselves... go enjoy the weekend!

September 2019

Did you find this review helpful?

0
Jill T
Baton Rouge, LA
Such Good Truth

This article is very insightful and packed with truth. Why do we run ourselves down and eventually burn out as wives, moms, employees, and volunteers? Thanks for the “slow down” reminder!

September 2019

Did you find this review helpful?

0

Recent Articles more articles

EARLY VOTING FOR THE APRIL 24 ELECTION

in Local News

Early voting continues through Saturday, April 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, excluding Sunday, April 11.  Citizens who want to vote early may do so in person at the parish Registrar of Voters Office or at other designated locations.

What’s the Best Age to Introduce Chores?

in Family Life, Anita RaJean Walker

We strive to raise well-adjusted children that have all the skill sets to succeed later in life. Chores are part of that because they help foster self-esteem and independence.

Wild Wine Walk

in Things To Do, Sponsored Content

Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo is thrilled to be hosting their first ever Wild Wine Walk on May 21, 2021. Guests (21+) are invited to stroll through the zoo for an early evening of wine tasting, food sampling, and live music.

Explore the Mighty A

in Sponsored Content

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is open daily, beginning at 8 a.m., with 30 historic planes, tanks and artillery, the USS Drum, park memorials, fishing pier, and bike service station.

Newsletter