Last week my kids and I made it to basketball early - twice. This might not sound like a big deal, but with four kids and 4 kid’s activities, not to mention a traveling husband and the traffic at The Junction, it was as if we had conquered some space-time continuum. Despite the fact that we were early, my kids still spouted from the backseat, “Mom! Are we late?” They just assumed we were late because we are regularly running behind and in a rush, oftentimes arriving just in time. Yet TWO times in one week we were EARLY. My kids couldn’t believe it because, you know, it doesn’t happen all that often.
It made me think that my kids are going to grow up, leave the house and look back on their childhood thinking we were always in a hurry…because, for the most part, we were. That doesn’t sit well with me.
I recently started reading a book calledThe Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. I was sharing about the book with one of our BeauCo classes last week and one of the guys thought I said The Ruthless Elimination of CURRY. Nope. I would never read that book. I like Thai food too much and have no desire to eliminate curry from my life. But HURRY! I would love to get rid of it. I have no time for it.
How many times this week have you asked or been asked, “How are you?” The customary response is, “Good. Just busy!” We’re all guilty of it, because we are all BUSY! If you’re a human living in Park City, then chances are you are filling your days with work, family, kid activities, volunteer opportunities, social events, to-do lists of every sort, – the list goes on and on. I won’t mention all the distractions and “things” our phones and Social Media siphon from our days. I don’t know anyone sitting around waiting for something to fill the time. (If this IS you – if you are looking for something to do. Call me. I’m serious. I can help. It starts with a few loads of laundry at my house.)
I think we can find that busy-ness has no preference; it relates to all of us. Both working moms and stay-at-home moms are busy. College students and retired folks are busy. Doctors and lawyers are busy, as well as farmers and mechanics. We’re ALLbusy.
And just so you know, I’m not saying that busy-ness is wrong! So much of how we fill our days and lives is spent on things that matter. But lately I’ve been thinking of the pace that busy-ness has me running, and I don’t like it. I often describe the Woodies as treadmills that make you go faster than you want to. That’s how I feel about busy-ness; it’s making me go faster than I want to. (For the record, we like to push you on the Woodies and we like that they make you sprint. Do not twist this metaphor into an excuse to run slower people.)
The author Ronald Rolheiser calls it “pathological busyness.” He says, “we, for every kind of reason, good or bad, are distracting ourselves into oblivion...pathological busyness, distraction, and restlessness are major blocks today within our lives. “
The poet T.S. Eliot may have said it first when he said, “people are distracted from distraction by distraction.”
And T.S. Eliot never had a cell phone.
It’s this idea that we are going about our lives and doing all the things (which aren’t necessarily bad) but where is the intention and purpose behind it? We’re moving at this frenetic pace but can our minds and our hearts keep up? Is the pace sustainable for a meaningful life?
I’m going to leave you with a fitness analogy so we can bring this home.
At The Beau Collective, we offer you HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style workouts. There is not official interval time, but the idea is to have certain durations of intense anaerobic exercise followed by certain durations of less intense, recovery exercise. There is a ton of science behind HIIT, but the idea is that you will burn more calories, improve your athletic capacity, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and increase your metabolism if there are periods of rest and recovery built in to the workout.
You can probably see where I’m headed with this.
There is purpose in the pause.
I’m even going to venture to say that, in a HIIT style workout, the pause is just as important as the Burpee or sprint.
Say it again so the people in the back can hear!
There is purpose in the pause.
You can go harder, you can do more, you can do it better – if you recover. If you rest.
It’s just like life.
For the record, I needed to hear this. I thought you could too. I struggle with being still. I crave it. But for some reason, I can’t give myself permission to just BE. However, I’ve come to realize that I’m a better wife, mom, friend – you name it – when I pause. When I engage, when I’m more intentional with my time. I plan ahead, I’m more patient with the people in my life, I have more energy and joy.
We don’t need more hours in the day. We all know we would just fill those with meaningless matter. We need to be more intentional with the time we do have. A pause with a purpose just might be what we need.