Being Busy vs Time Well Spent

Have you ever taken the time to reflect on how busy you are, and compare that to how you value the tasks you are doing each day?

I remember telling my mom, years ago:

“I’m involved in all sorts of activities each and every day; I’m always busy! But, truth be told, the only things of VALUE I do involve my children…and that only happens when they’re out of school!”

For someone who loved being a mom, this was great.

For someone who wanted her children to become independent, strong individuals…maybe this wasn’t so good! After all, if I was always hovering over them and involving myself in every aspect of their day, how would they learn to make decisions by themselves?

Establishing a habit of self-care

I think this line of thinking is what led me to realize that, while I wanted to be involved in my children’s lives and wanted to establish close, healthy relationships with them, that did not mean that I needed to define myself as only their mom, but as their mom plus. Meaning, being their mom was, and continues to be, an important role, but it is also essential that I be involved in activities that nurture my soul…activities that nourish my personal needs and goals. In fact, it is important that I establish a habit of self-care.

If I fail to care for myself, then what chance is there that I will have access to the resources available to care for others? This is not unlike the stewardess who warns passengers on an airplane to put those oxygen masks on themselves before trying to take care of those around them, whether they love those around them or not. After all, if we pass out from lack of oxygen, we’ll be of no assistance to anyone else, will we?

Being the guide on the side

In addition, while it feels really nice to have our children look up to us and think we have all the answers, is this really what we want? If one of the goals for our kids is to have them become independent, wise, and capable adults, then we must allow them the opportunity to practice and experience the natural consequences involved in typical, daily decision-making.

They need a chance to struggle with making a hard right choice, as opposed to an easier wrong one. They need to practice standing up against peer pressure, being willing to admit a mistake, and making honest choices. In fact, just doing the right thing…even when no one else is looking. Even when they’re the only ones who would know the difference.

The negativity bias of the brain

Our brains are wonderful and magical. We are so lucky to have them, and understand that they have the ability to grow, change, and learn new things as our lives move from one day to the next. We must realize, however, that our brains take what is at first unique and exciting, and turn it into the ordinary, commonplace event. This can lead us to negative thinking and imagining that we are less capable than we are.

Rather than letting that occur, take some time to invest in yourself. Know that we each have unique talents and gifts, and look for ways to share them with others.

Dr W

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

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