By Heather O.
There was a time in my life when I needed a day planner. Like, an actual Franklin Day planner, complete with daily pages broken down into hours. I didn’t always use the daily pages, but my calendar was so full, it sometimes looked fake. I mean, who could possibly have time to do all THAT? I was so overwhelmed and busy with life that I even turned someone at church down when they asked me to plan the ward Christmas party. My plate was full. Overflowing. I was leading an intense life.
It’s not that I’ve done nothing today. I snuggled with my 8 year old, who crawled into my bed at some unknown hour last night. I helped him with his homework while I made my two children breakfast, and I even changed over the laundry. I will probably get to the dishes sometime today, and in the 10 minutes since I’ve sat down to write this post, I have been interrupted about 4 times by my toddler, who is currently demanding that I open up a bottle of Gatorade. In fact, she just slammed it down on the keyboard to get my attention, so excuse me while I pause for a moment.
So it’s not like I’m doing nothing. And it’s not like I don’t have an eternal to do list constantly yelling at me in my head. It’s just that, well, doing dishes and cleaning the playroom and opening Gatorade bottles don’t exactly merit a spot on the calendar. You know, the one that is hanging in my pantry. Because I no longer need a planner that breaks down my days by the hour. I have a school bus and naptime for that.
Sometimes this bothers me. Sometimes I wish that I had my intense life back, the one where I had to be dressed in something business-like by 7am, the one where I had decisions and responsibilities and respect from people who didn’t complain about burned grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner. And on even bleaker days, I not only miss it, but wonder if my life has any meaning without it.
And then sometimes, I wonder why I equate value with activity. I wonder why I think a busy person is a better person. I wonder where the idea comes from that we are only adding to the world if we are running around 12 crazy different directions with a full planner and a frazzled brow. I wonder why I sometimes think my slower life, with small people making messes at my feet, isn’t just as valid as my fast-paced one.
So today, I’m embracing my slowness. I’m going to the gym to work out, and then I’m going to take my daughter swimming, and then we’ll get shakes at Chick-fil-a. I’ll pick up my son from the bus stop, and I’ll hang around chatting with my neighbors while he tries to destroy imaginary Jedi with his home-made Sith lightsaber. I’ll make dinner (not sure what yet–any ideas?), and I’ll do the dishes, and I’ll complain about having the take out the trash. I’ll read A Pocket for Cordourey to my toddler, and say prayers with my son, and then snuggle in my bed with a good book. And I’ll remember that slower is okay. That there’s a lot to be said for hanging out in pajamas until 10am.
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