When with my children, I have always made an effort to sparingly use the words we’re too busy or we don’t have time for that. A hurry, we’re late never helps when waiting for them to put their jacket and shoes on while we’re late getting out the door. There are always more activities to do and places to rush and it’s easy to get lost in the mundane. Why does my brain constantly look forward to the next task while trying to accomplish what’s at hand?
So instead of rushing through everything we make an effort every day to try to find beauty in the small and listen to what each other has to say.
I’m struggling with this as of late. While buying a house, selling a house, being pregnant, and starting both my kids in preschool for the year, the words we don’t have time for that and we can’t do that until we move are unfortunately a frequent outlet. And now my almost 5 year old daughter has been saying we never have time for anything anymore! She’s understandably frustrated. I’m not saying these words can’t ever be said but I think it’s important they be used only rarely. In doing so I find that we then make time for what’s really important. This might be a particular art project or taking time out to go to the park or even simply making time to read.
At moments like these I find it helpful to go back to a story Joshua Becker told in one of his books. He tells of an old saying that keeps you in the moment. No matter what you are doing, do it and only that task before moving on to the next. You do this by stating what you are doing. For example, When I am making dinner, I am making dinner. When I am reading with my children, I am reading with my children. When I am talking on the phone, I am talking on the phone. At first this sounds silly to say but it helped me realize how often my brain was thinking of other things while my body was doing something else.
With my family and our recent busyness, I’ve translated this to Let’s finish what we are doing now and we’ll see if we have time for that later. This is my way around we’re too busy or we don’t have time for that. It’s a different way to approach the problem and rather than focusing on the loss of time, it allows for possibility. Who knows. Maybe we will find the time.