Speed up. Keep working. There’s still something left on your task list! Does this sound familiar? Is this what the little voice in the back of your head is saying to you day in and day out? I know that this is what is running through my mind more often than not.
But it’s a shame. For while we all have tons of things to do, and our lists will never get completely done (or even shorter, probably), we are all missing out on some of the greatest treasures of life by focussing in on our to-do lists. And no, I’m not advocating for the abolition of to-do lists – I love mine too much! Instead, I’m talking about making sure that, while we work away at our to-do lists and still get all of the important things done, we take the time to slow down and treasure the little things.
Sometimes It’s the Little Things That Make Life Crazy
The dog needs to be let out. Oh, now he wants right back in. And out again. The dishwasher is full in the morning, you have dishes to load in it though, and you forgot to run it the night before. The laundry needs to be switched from the washer to the dryer. A load needs to be folded. The phone is ringing. The VeggieTales music is playing too loudly. It is one minute past the time your article is due and you haven’t been able to send it yet.
Yes. Sometimes it is the little things that make life crazy. In fact, sometimes it is the most beautiful of the little things (such as your precious and precocious baby daughter) that makes life the most crazy. But you know, that’s okay. C’est la vie.
Because it is also the little things that make life beautiful.
But It’s Also the Little Things That Make life Beautiful
That dog that wants to be incessantly let out is the same puppy that wags his entire body when you walk in the door and who lets your baby climb all over him, pulling his hair and tail and ears. And that VeggieTales music that is too loud to your ears is the same music that is giving you five minutes without hearing fussing while you try to clean up the lunch dishes. And those same little people that take up all your time are the loving babies and toddlers and children that put their little arms around you and make everything better.
Plus, it is the little moments of love and relaxation that you get to experience throughout the day that also contribute to making life more beautiful.
Of course, the question is, though:
How Do You Actually Slow Down and Enjoy, Then?
After all, we all have more tasks than time. Well, the answer is simple: prioritize. I know, I know! That’s not what you wanted to hear. It’s not what I want to hear either. I am a type A personality, always wanting to do more – say yes to more – and never being satisfied with what I do accomplish. Prioritizing is hard for me. Because everything, in my eyes, is important and everything needs to be done perfectly.
Recently, though, I have been really pushing myself to prioritize my tasks themselves as well as my life. One thing that has really helped me is Bullet Journaling, which one of my lovely friends just introduced to me. Physically writing out my tasks each day helps me to realize that I can actually let go of some of the things I thought I absolutely had to do before. Sometimes, though, prioritizing isn’t enough. Which is when you take a deep breath, stare into your children’s adoring eyes as they long for attention, and just sit down, play, and relish in their laughter. (Or, you break out the chocolate and have a moment of sweet quiet all to yourself if the kids are down for a nap!)
Slow down and take time. Enjoy the little, everyday moments. While you can’t make time, you can almost always find time (even just small moments) for all of those little but important things that make life beautiful.