You probably hear it constantly: where did the time go? Wow, that flew by! Wasn’t it just yesterday that…? (You can probably think of a major life stage to enter here. Starting a new relationship, finishing school, birth of a baby, etc.) The saying rings true – the days are long, but the years are short.
As a mom, I feel it keenly. My little ones are growing and developing all the time. And although it seems like my youngest was just born, he is actually almost a year and a half now. What??
There are moments and days I wish it would all just speed up. The ones that are frustrating and challenging, where my patience is short, and my kids’ energy seems endless, or when our family is sick, or when we just have a lot on our plates.
But honestly much of the time, I feel like I’m backpedaling, wondering where the days went and wishing my kids wouldn’t grow so fast. Maybe you feel the same? Wishing finals would end, but enjoying the fun and spontaneity of college life? Dreaming of your wedding day but having fun planning out the details? Wanting a new career, but still finding fulfillment where you are, even if only in the small things?
I don’t want to rush life by, and look back and wonder where it went. So instead, I’m trying to practice the magical art of slowing time.
Okay, it’s not really magic. And you’re not actually slowing time. But it is a choice you can make that will keep you in the moment and enjoying it more, rather than blowing right by it and on to the next thing, which is so easy to do.
I am no expert at this. Often I’m trying to do multiple things at once, because I feel like I have to get it all done RIGHT NOW. I’m texting, setting up a toy train track, and dashing to the kitchen to check on the water I’ve put on to boil.
Instead of giving in to the rush, slow down. Take it one thing at a time. Fully engage in one thing. Often things don’t have such a pressing deadline that you can’t take time to focus on one thing. If it does, focus on that thing.
This is a similar note. The worst thing for me in being present is my stinking phone. I grab it just to “check one thing”, and I’m lost in it, thinking of a million more things I need to do. Putting my phone down is one of the best things I can do to be more mindful.
For you, it might be some other method of escape – TV, shopping, reading. (Those are all “good” distractions for me.) When you find yourself running to these often, you might find that you’re missing out on this moment in time.
Literally – stop and think of what you’re grateful for in your life right now. When I feel like I’m falling to pieces and life is just too crazy, I want anything to be out of the moment, and run to distractions to make the time fly. Stopping to think of what I’m grateful for about this minute, this day, this stage of life helps me appreciate it all so much more.
The days that feel the longest? The ones in which I’ve set some kind of goal for myself. Eating better or fasting, taking on a new exercise program, trying a new nonfiction book or a Bible study, working on my character – anything that requires a little more focus and discipline.
Honestly, I want to run from those things most of the time. But growth happens in challenges, difficulty, and dare I say, pain. It’s not something to necessarily be afraid of or avoid.
Those are things that are helpful for me to “slow time”. What kinds of things help you, whatever stage you’re in?