On a particular morning where I knew I had a lot to do, I found myself already feeling rushed by 7:00 AM. This wasn’t a surprise. That’s how most mornings started.
My husband needed to be at the train station in 15 minutes, which meant we had to wake up the baby and have a bottle ready for her. Then we had to snap her in her car seat with as little as struggle as possible so as to get out of the door on time. If I had slept solidly through the night, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. That didn’t happen very often though. Last night’s sleep had been spotty and interrupted by baby feedings.
Once my husband was seated on the train, (and likely passed out from tiredness against a window) I rushed back home. That day I needed to make it to the post office, buy ingredients for a lunch with my aunt that afternoon, find a babysitter for that same afternoon while my sister and I went on a date. I also needed to find a ride home for Taylor, since I would be attending a different sister’s dance performance in another county.
Back home, I sat on the couch, strategizing everything I needed to do. Miss Arrow had been let out of the car seat, and was happily exploring through messy piles of laundry, the diaper bag, and other miscellaneous items that were scattered about on the living room carpet. The place was a mess. I got off the couch to make breakfast, but then I noticed that the counter was covered in yesterday’s night dinner and today’s breakfast/
On this morning, I felt the usual temptation to feel rushed, stressed, and to be in a “just do it” attitude. The Just Do It attitude isn’t so bad. It gets the job done, that’s for sure. But I never feel satisfied, or rather, I’m not able to relax by the time the task is done. Instead I’m even more wound up. This carries on to bedtime, and I’m unable fall asleep for a long time because I’m so tense inside.
I didn’t want another day like that. I wanted that day to be different. I realized that the schedule I had now was much easier than the one I had described back when Arrow was first born. During the months of having a newborn, I had been mentally begging for something nicer and easier to handle. This was the big break! Heck, this was a party compared to before. Time to celebrate!
I put on my favorite CD (Can you believe these things still exist?), and talked myself into reading a few chapters from a new book. I made a list of tasks and a timetable in which I would finish them. I changed my music to spiritual talks from General Conference, to set a relaxing mood while the apartment got cleaned up. I read scriptures out loud to Arrow. During her nap times, I readied myself for the day, taking time to do my hair a little nicer and put on some mascara.
Because the morning had gone a little slower, there were some things I didn’t get to do. For instance, I had planned I’d have a lunch completely ready for my aunt when we met at her work. There was only enough time to buy the ingredients for hummus wraps, so when we did meet, we were scooping avocado right at the table. It made no difference to the quality and fun of our time together. It was good to learn that things don’t need to be perfect to be a success.
This day had been a busier day than usual. But, because of my choice to slow down, and take time in my work, it had felt so much more fulfilling. A happy energy buzzed through me as I lay my head to sleep that night. It didn’t take long to fall asleep.
My challenge to you is to look for those ways to “take time”. Take time to dress yourself up. Take time to indulge on spiritualness. Take time to give time to a family member you don’t often see. Write down how you feel later. A few minutes can make a big difference on your day.