It's already Monday morning and you feel sick. Not because of some virus but because you're utterly exhausted and overwhelmed with life.
According to a CBS News poll 63 percent ask "Where the heck did my weekend go". Millions of Americans are overworked and don't get R & R from their weekends.
You feel like you have no choice but to cruise through life. Doing multiple things at once, in hopes that maybe today you'll complete that accumulating to-do list.
When the truth is that the more you pile on your overflowing plate the faster time passes. That's why over the course of a week your life becomes one blur after the next. You spend your time "task-shifting" better known as "multi-tasking (which doesn't actually exist) and not living.
Your mind becomes used to switching rapidly between tasks that once you sit down and chill you almost crawl out of your skin in discomfort. Kind of like when you're used to 75-80 mph on a major highway and then once you hit a two lane and go 55-60 mph, you feel like you're in slow motion, and all you want to do is step on the gas.
But here's the simple truth. Once you do push through that uncomfortable feeling of slowing down, your body will re-acclimate and graciously accept the invitation to rest.
The question is, how badly do you want to experience your life? Rather than going through the motions in the disconnected state of existence.
When was the last time that you truly sat across from your child and soaked in her giggles as she recapped her day? Or how often do you stop and sincerely notice your partner? When's the last time that you looked into the mirror and recognized you who really are?
Society tells us to work harder, do more, and eventually it will pay off. At some point there's this magical station that we'll pass through to make all the negative media messages go away, and we'll finally feel like we have done enough. Obviously this will NEVER happen. The actual test isn't if we can work hard enough, it's if we can stand up and take back the control over how we spend our time.
Today's Your Day To Take Back Your Moments
Pick a time today to stop and sit. You can sit with a loved one, alone, or with a pet. And take in your surroundings. Are you watching your kids play at the park? If so put down your phone and stop snapping shots. Capture the moment with your naked eye and be with your kids in the here and now.
Those are your babies climbing on the monkey bars, befriending peers, and laughing without care or concern of what the world thinks of them. And they are yours to enjoy.
You Will Be Sad
When this exercises is over and not for reasons that you would think. You're not sad that your'e not still at the park, you're sad because this moment made you feel alive, connected, and full of life. And this moment tragically doesn't come around too often.
You know leaving the park that you won't return for a very long time. Sure you'll take your kids there but you will have your phone, a report from work to review, or your mind will be running through the list of things you still have to do that day, and not in the present moment with your kids.
Time To Nip And Tuck
Pick a time tomorrow to sit down with your calendar. Highlight the mandatory commitments and then put a big fat X through the ones that can go. There's sure to be commitments that your have to complete. Not a problem. But write in the end date.
Make side-notes in the margins or memos on your screen reminding yourself why your won't refill that time slot with another task. Whether it be a 5th extra-curricular activity, a PTA seat, or a church fundraiser--just say no. You have a life waiting for you to live!
And remember why you're saying "No". You're protecting your time to create more moments where you connect with your loved ones, life, and yourself. Moments that make you smile from the inside out. Moments that matter, because in the end when you ask yourself, did I choose to live my life? You can smile and say, "Yes".
Jessica M. Miller, M.A. is the author of Back 2 Love and How To Start A Mental Health Private Practice. She owns a practice in New Prague, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and two pups. For more tips on how to live your best life check out her YouTube channel Super Living and follow her on Twitter for valuable relationship advice.