We have all heard the old saying, “Timing is everything,” but I have been pondering the meaning of “good” timing or spending “quality time” a lot these days. I think I have always assumed it to mean it is time to DO something. Lately, I am feeling the opposite is quite necessary. How about we DON’T do something. In today’s demanding and often overwhelming societal structure, it feels as if we are trained to think that if we are not consistently busy with something “productive” then we are not giving appropriately to society or our families. Maybe now is the time to stop doing things, simplify, eliminate that which does not truly feed our souls and slow down.
A consistent presence in conversations with family, friends and clients is a feeling of exhaustion and not knowing how to catch up on life. I sat back a few weekends ago and realized that this is also a large part of my daily existence. I asked myself, “Why? What am I doing with my time that is depleting my life energy?” The answer was both complicated yet ridiculously simple. Yes, I am a small business owner and, yes, I am the mother of a spirited toddler and, yes, major life changes are in motion but the biggest red flag that appeared in my brain was the false belief that I had to get everything done NOW! You may have noticed I said FALSE belief. Today’s technologically speedy and demanding environment has us believing that things should be done immediately. We put immense pressure on ourselves to accomplish large goals in short periods of time. Our exposure to instantaneous communication and production has led us to assume time is following pace. Time has never changed. It ticks on the same as it did at the dawn of existence. Humans continue to have the same thresholds to stress and lack of energy that our ancestors did. That has not changed. Our expectations have.
Now, don’t worry. I am not anti-technology or anti-busy. I am becoming anti-exhaustion. The social status of being exhausted due to living a life meant for two or three people is, in my opinion, past its relevance. It never should have been the normal way of life. Exhaustion leads to miscommunication, poor quality work, depression, illness and distance between loved ones. I am becoming pro-feeding the soul time. Time spent using our brains and bodies to truly be present to our work, families, friends and life through recognizing what can wait, what is truly important to us and what can be eliminated. That feels like quality.
At the end of the day, do I feel like the day’s time was spent doing even one thing that fed my soul?
Am I leaving time for the universe to provide something meaningful or am I too busy to notice?
Am I easily irritated with others mostly because I would rather be in bed or doing something I love?
Do I consistently tell my friends and loved ones that I need a break and then never take one?
If the answer is yes to more than one of these questions, perhaps ask yourself...
If I think about what I I spend most of my time doing, does it bring a frown or smile to my face?
If a frown, what can be altered about it? What am I willing to alter about it?
What do I often think about doing that I never seem to have time for? How can I spend even five more minutes a day incorporating it into my life?
What has to go in order to incorporate more soul feeding activity?
Am I OK with letting go of things or do I fear missing out? How much is this fear holding me back from truly living a meaningful day?
If it were my last week on earth, what would I tell others is truly important to me? How much time do I give those thing/things?