I don’t usually do resolutions, but for some reason this year I feel compelled. A lot of people I know have a word they focus on as the theme for the year, and today I’ve been mulling over that idea and asking God if there’s a word he has for me. And I’m pretty sure he’s given it to me–two words, actually. SLOW DOWN.
I am the queen of multitasking and squeezing every last bit of productivity from my time. On the surface this sounds like a good thing–being lazy and unproductive and aimless certainly isn’t a good use of one’s time. But studies have shown that multitasking actually makes your dumber, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much more I get done because of multitasking, and I’m realizing it’s not as much as one might think. So there’s definitely no reason to wreck my brain over it.
Besides precious brain cells, multitasking has also robbed me of quality time with my family. Looking back over this past year–over the last couple, actually–I am sad to see my family has gotten a lot of half-present wife and mom time, a lot of leftovers and wrung out me. I knew it at the time, too, but I justified it and excused it because I was Building A Career or Looking For A Job or Trying to Save Money By Making Most Of Our Christmas Gifts This Year. All good and necessary things to do, yes, and I’m not saying I shouldn’t have been doing those things. I’m just saying I shouldn’t have tried to do them at the same time as I was supposedly spending time with my husband or kids. Every once in a while? That’s no big deal. My kids don’t need me watching their every move as they climb and crawl through the McDonald’s Playland Habitrail. Dan doesn’t need me completely invested in every sport match he watches on TV. But it became the rule, rather than the exception, and another year is gone from my girls’ childhood that I’ll never get back, another year over in my time on this earth with my husband, and I didn’t invest nearly as much time in them as I should have.
So, starting today, I’m slowing down. I’m not rushing my girls through things like a drill sergeant anymore. I’m not neglecting alone time with God anymore. I’m not giving my husband my worthless five minutes before I go to bed tails of my day anymore. I’m not passing the pile of stuff on the stair landing that’s been waiting for months to be taken upstairs and put away anymore. I can take five minutes to sort an armload of those items into their proper places. I can take the time to put the dishes away immediately after a meal. I can take the time to clean my desk before I start working.
And because resolutions are pointless without a plan to make them happen, I finally drew up a schedule for the girls and me to follow in the morning. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for months, but–ha!–never found the time to do. Yesterday, however, I did it. I think the loosey-goosey approach we’ve had to the start of our day has contributed to my feeling of never having enough time to do things, and I think having a specific routine to shape our morning time is going to help tremendously. As usual, implementing it this morning was a little rocky–we’re not a family who takes easily to new habits–but we’ll get our act together soon, and just knowing that my time was already accounted for in a God-honoring and -serving way, and a family-serving way, made me feel really hopeful and positive.
I’d love to hear what resolutions you’re pursuing this year. Do you, too, have a Word or Theme of the Year? You know what they say–putting your goals in writing can make you more likely to achieve them. So share them here so we can cheer you on!