I laid my baby boy in his crib for the night and tucked his blanket around him. “Perfect,” I thought. “I’ve got at least an hour with which I can work before I need to hop into bed myself.” I raced to my computer to start writing to all of you, feeling so proud of all the to-do items I’ve knocked off the list today. Surely I can get one more going.
I logged into the backend of Life Your Way and – oops! This post was going to be about taking time for things that are absolutely unproductive in terms of work and how gosh darn important it is to pause.
Hmmm. Do I lie and just pretend that I spent my evening sewing a fun little pattern I’ve wanted to try? Or do I actually stop working and go do something fun?
We all forget to pause. It’s so easy to rush through the routines of parenting so that we can get work finished. But the question is: when do we take time for ourselves, then?
I started asking folks on my business Facebook page about books they recommend and movies I’ve missed during my son’s infancy. (Being a journaling business owner, I get to chit chat and ask thought provoking questions over there.) At first, I stopped doing those leisurely activities because I was so busy caring for my child. But now that we have a routine, what am I so busy with during the evening? Imaging I need to catch up? Trying to make another great slash mark across my to-do list?
Ask yourself: What benefits are there to never taking time for non-work things?
And remember, work items include cleaning house and folding laundry. They include catching up on emails.
We always say how quickly children grow up. Our lives go just as quickly. So my challenge to you, dear friend, is to turn off that computer. Don’t work. Read that book you’ve been waiting to start. Get a babysitter and go for a night out. Keep an introspective journal just for yourself. (Yeah, that’s a plug to my favorite Gadanke journal – ha!)
Mandi here at Life Your Way is an incredible role model for reminding me to pause. She holds her baby boy while he sleeps and reads books on her Kindle, truly making the best of life’s quieter moments. Follow her on Instagram if you aren’t!
For the record, I did close my laptop last night, and I didn’t work. The internet didn’t implode. My list of projects was still here when I awoke. In fact, the only thing that really happened was that I had an inspiring evening of watching the Touglas family document their thru hike on the Appalachian Trail. (Highly recommend it!) And then the next day? We went into the mountains to feel the creek water. (Highly recommend that, too!)
|Katie Clemons is a storycatcher and journal crafter. She helps people celebrate their stories with her award-winning writing prompt journals and free workshop at Gadanke. She also blogs at Making This Home about simple, handmade living from a vintage airplane hangar in Montana.