Cherish Your Time!
Reaching Fall is sort of like your kids reaching high school. It seems the day will never come and then WHOOSH...with the first drop in temperature come the pumpkins and seasoned lattes and before Halloween even hits, Christmas and Hanukkah decorations are on storefront displays and before we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner we are being bombarded to get our holiday shopping done and by the time Christmas and Hanukkah arrive, we are being urged to make our New Year’s Resolutions! It’s no wonder what a challenge it is to “Live in the Moment”!
As a mom of six (three from my womb and three from my Groom!), we have noticed that our children could not get enough of our attention and love (“watch me jump mommy!”) prior to their reaching high school and then WHOOSH… (“you can just drop me off mom!”), freckles give way to acne, playdates turn to proms, sports and clubs and before you can fully grasp that your babies are getting their driver’s permits and applying to college, you are packing up their belongings and bidding them farewell! As a kid, life moved soooooo SLOWLY! But as an adult I almost seem to be ripping through the calendar pages at a record pace! Is time REALLY FLYING?
How can we slow down and savor the great moments and speed through the more challenging ones? Maybe we can’t alter time but we can alter our experience of it. A more pragmatic question perhaps is, “How can we enjoy the charming aspects of life more and feel more balanced in the stressful moments?” How can we establish a feeling of control over our destiny’s instead of feeling like we are being dragged through life, twisting and turning to accommodate everyone else’s agenda for us?
A few techniques I use to feel my most vibrant, steady, loving, powerful self which allows me to CHERISH TIME MORE include:
Self Care – for me the basics are Transcendental Meditation (www.tm.org), proper rest, yoga, eating clean and staying hydrated! It’s shocking to me how many people boast of “pushing through” even when they are exhausted! Our bodies are our instruments through which we experience our lives THROUGH! If we are fatigued, hungry or hurting we are inhibiting our highest expression of living! We would never drive our cars for long periods on empty, with warning signs flashing and expect to have a smooth ride! Tend to your body BETTER than your car!
Setting boundaries – Everyone has a preferred way for us to spend our time. We need not look any further than our mates, our parents and our children to fill our to-do list unless of course we also work and wish to contribute to our world beyond our immediate nests. Setting a healthy boundary usually calls for us to practice saying “No thank you! That sounds wonderful but I must pass!” Then DON’T OFFER EXCUSES! With the holiday season underway, you will most assuredly get more offers than you could possibly entertain. Ask yourself, “Will this Function/Party/Cause UPLIFT or DRAIN me?” Practice self-love and if it's a drainer, it’s a no-go!
Set PRIORITIES! My husband’s metabolism was supersonic until he hit 60! Prior to that he could consume the entire bread bowl, multiple appetizers and finish off all of our desserts. Now the poor guy can only eat one roll, one appetizer and one dessert or he feels full and sluggish! (I know, cry me a river!). Now he has to do what I’ve had to do since I was 20 – Order wisely! Prioritize! Every meal I ask myself, “am I eating light and green or soft and sweet?” then I choose what will serve my body or soul best for what I am seeking because I have to PRIORITIZE! I can’t eat it ALL or serve EVERYONE all at once! Ask yourself, “who or what is the priority in this situation?” and then align your behaviors accordingly.
Choosing to give benefit of doubt to all – usually when we get upset it's because we have told ourselves a story about what occurred that doesn't make us feel good! For example, if someone says they are going to call and then they don’t we may take it personally and feel slighted when really any number of other reasons could be the cause (phone went dead, they took ill, they are running late, whatever!). Just practice giving the benefit of the doubt and before you create your response based on feeling slighted, offer your kindness. “Are you alright dear? When I didn't hear from you, I wanted to be sure you are doing okay!” and MEAN IT as in be sincere, don't actually M-E-A-N it or they will sense your sarcastic tone!
Let your phones and electronics work for YOU instead of vice versa! So many people feel addicted to respond instantaneously to the beeps of their devices! YOU are in control of your phone! Your car does not drive you anymore than your phone is your boss! You are in the driver’s seat (HOPEFULLY!) whether you are behind the wheel or choosing to respond to your phone’s beeps or friend’s Facebook posts! You respond when it is good for you. In the meantime, give your full attention to your spouse, child, parent or friend who may happen to be right in front of you! It is so nice to see how many people are now letting their calls roll to their voice mail so they can honor the integrity of a visit! Imagine if a doctor kept his or her phone on while performing an operation? Aren’t your loved ones just as precious as a doctor’s patients?
We may not be able to slow time technically, but we can feel an everlasting sense of timelessness by staying in the present and relishing all of life’s blessings! Happy Fall, Diana
Diana Stone, M.A., is a Wellness Consultant and inspirational writer and speaker. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org