It was easy-peasy to think of what I wanted my new “word” to be for this year.
And I really enjoyed not knowing where my computer was for a couple weeks.
During those couple weeks of adjustment I realized, I really like the “enjoy” part.
And I realized that I don’t do it enough.
Sure, I enjoy moments a lot. Sometimes it’s almost like a punch to my heart when I glance out the window and witness an incredible sunset, notice the spring buds popping out, receive a spontaneous hug or witness children who have been at each other’s throats fighting saying some really nice thing to each other. But sometimes that punch of enjoyment doesn’t last all that long and I find myself stressing about things way too much. I worry too much. Sure, that gets you places and helps you realize your dreams and all that jazz, but there’s got to be a balance.
I believe whole-heartedly that God wants us to have JOY. And sometimes it’s tough to find that joy if you don’t slow down enough to ENjoy life and the beauty that encompasses it.
I’ve realized I’m too connected outside my family and not enough connected inside my family. And most of the time my phone is the culprit.
Another is to guard our family time with a passion. I will always treasure the serious undiluted family time we had together in China and I have been extremely careful about what I have allowed us to get sucked into since we arrived home. It is and always will be a balancing act, but it feels so good to be super deliberate about it.
Last but not least (at least for now) to help on the “enjoy” quest is to slow down on blogging.
For years I have written something almost every week day. Not only have I “met” myriads of amazing people all over the world through this thing, but I think this blog was the avenue that led me to write a book with my mother (here), become a presenter for Time Out for Women for a couple years (here & here…and prob lots of other “heres” I can’t find right now), be named with this little title back here, and all the wonderful relationships and steep learning curves that come with that.
But somehow over the last couple years part of the joy and spontaneity of writing here has become lost in the shuffle. I have found myself becoming a little unbalanced. I’ll stay up late to finish a post when Dave is waiting to discuss a little sliver of life with me. Or I’ll be worrying about how something I said may somehow come across wrong in the midst of playing a matching game with Lucy. And I don’t want to do that any more.
It’s a tough juxtaposition to balance how much to record life and how much to really LIVE it.
So although I will always write here because it’s such a great way to keep track of life and express things I’m thinking, I am deliberately stepping back just a tad to enjoy life a little more. I don’t know where the “stepping back” will take me but I know it’s what’s right for now. That means some posts may not be quite as thought-through as they could be and I may unintentionally rub someone the wrong way (which happens no matter what), but I’m just going to enjoy the process…whatever time I can find to spend here.
My kids are growing up much to my chagrin, gosh darn it! Max and Elle just barely looked like this:
There was this one successful mother (I can’t remember where this came from, but I think of it often), who said something along the lines that she felt certain that she was “there” in the “raising kids” years as much as her children needed her. But in hindsight, looking back, she wasn’t there as much as she needed them.
I think I need them more than they need me. The same goes for my husband. Sometimes, after a busy week I’ll look at him and think, “oh man, I get to be married to that guy and I hardly even enjoyed it this week!”
Ok, not really, because that’s a little on the cheesy side, but when I slow down to really climb into his mind, ask real questions about work and life and close out all the other distractions, I sure enjoy life more.
Growing up my Dad would often try to go “the speed of going slow.” He would try to slow everything down around him and I thought it was goofy as all get-out.
But now I get it. Life is often times too fast-paced! I’m done trying to wear a badge of honor about how “busy” life is and running around all harried and out of control. I think we live in a world where “thinking” and pondering are going out of style. We run from one thing to the other, cell phones extending like an extra extremity from our hands, texting, busying ourselves when what is most precious…real life relationships and discussions, get pushed into the corner. I am working to consciously slow it all down.
One of my favorite quotes (brought to my attention by my wise friend Sarah) says, “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around to catch you.” — John De Paola. I love it. It is truer than true.
Because THAT’S where the enjoyment comes in.
And I’m starting on my quest to slow down my never ending heart-racing to do just that: ENJOY.