There is so much to do and never enough time. Home, work, kids, dinner, errands and the unexpected, it keeps us all on our toes. We never get to slow down or stop and inevitably it makes us believe that if we just do everything faster, we can get more done. If we rush through every day, we may find that elusive moment of completion. If everything could be finished and we could sit, rest and enjoy.
But life doesn’t work that way. It won’t ever be done, there is always a dish to be washed, laundry to be folded or a lesson to be planned. Slowing down seems to be the opposite of what would help. But that in fact is what we all must do, slowing down this year is really what may bring us what we are looking for. If we slow down this year, we may just find a way to be happier.
Why Are We Rushing Anyway?
We live in an era where we have been lead to believe that if we are not multitasking, we are not doing enough. We have phones with split screens so we can be doing two things at once. The expectation is that we can do everything. And we attempt to cramp everything in to every day. We feel like we have to make the most of every second. But is anyone enjoying this frenzied life.
The concept of slowing down seems counterproductive. But stop for a moment and think why are we trying to do so much. Many times, we think that happiness lies at the end of it all. When everything is done, we can be happy, but that is not how it work, because there will always be more to do.
Slow Down At Home
Consider this, rather than rushing to make dinner, slow down, bring your family in the kitchen. Why not have some fun and let everyone get involved in making dinner? Of course you could finish making dinner faster, but at what cost. More often than not, we rush through preparing dinner, we are just trying to finish as quickly as possible. Sometimes we are in such a rush, we look in four different places for the salt or we make an unnecessary mess because the sooner it is finished, the sooner the work will be done.
But what if we did slow down? What if we did involve everyone in what we were making? Of course it might take forever, trust me, I know, I just made spaghetti and meatballs with a two and a half year old. But usually the point of everyday is to find time to spend with the people I love. Instead of letting the jobs of the day keep me from my family, I can use it as an opportunity to spend constructive time with them.
Slow Down At School
With all the pressures teachers feel today, it is easy to fall into the mindset of having to rush to finish things. We frantically try to create opportunities and activities for our students to learn. We put pressure on ourselves to make more materials, do more fun things and learn every new technology. Then once we have all of these things ready, we realize there is nowhere nearly enough time to do it all. So again we begin to rush. We try to do everything, but when we do everything, it is so hard to do it all well.
As teachers feel the need to ‘cover’ all the material, but to what end. Going at such a rapid pace, trying to complete every activity, what are we actually doing? If we just slowed down and remembered our true purpose, to teach children a concept. We could slow down, not try to finish a hundred activities and allow children to learn.
Slow down, look at what is important. what are you actually hoping the children will walk away from you knowing? Focus on that, focus on your purpose and slow down. We cannot do it all, and attempting to do it faster and rushing through it all is breaking our spirits.
Allow Yourself to Dream
For a few moments everyday, slow down, stop and reflect. What is it that brings you joy? What can you do to bring more joy to others? Maybe it is taking twenty minutes to read or planting flowers in front of your house. Consider leaving messages of hope or joy for others to find. But take time to think about your happiness and the happiness of others. Slow down and make sure you are doing things that are making the world better.
Try to stop rushing through your day, rushing through your life, take some time for you. Slowing down may not solve all your problems, it definitely won’t make folding laundry better, but calming the frantic feeling may bring you more joy. Stop believing that when you finish it all you will be happy, slow down and be happy now.