How often do you hear this?
“How are you?”
The response: “Busy. Good, but busy.”
Well, I say this almost every time someone asks me how I am. To be honest, I’m tired of that response. I don’t want to be, “Good, but busy.” So, I will also tell you that I started a blog post about this in May. I had this “busy-ness” blog nearly done, but guess what? That’s right, I got too busy to finalize it and send it out! So here I am one month later.
Summer is the time of year that I love. However, it seems like it always goes so fast. Why? Because it is BUSY! There is that word again! The long, hot days should drag on as we relax outdoors on the deck or by a pool or a lake. Why do we insist on filling them with activities that take us away from that precious time? Especially living in Iowa, it is so important to cherish these days. We have from April to about November that we get to really enjoy the outdoors before it gets too cold. We need to make the most of it. That doesn’t mean jamming them full of activity after activity—it means resting and relaxing in the beautiful sunshine.
Most of this busy-ness is our own doing. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we overbook and think that “it will be fine” when deep down inside, we know it won’t be? Why do we waste the opportunity to make precious memories enjoying a slow day, evening or weekend? Is it because we have the fear of missing out syndrome? Is it because we just can’t say “NO?” Or is it because we let society and what everyone else is doing determine what we should be doing as well?
For me, it is all of those. I love sports and watching my kids play sports, so when they ask to do more than one sport and the schedules work, I have a tough time telling them no. When a client needs to schedule during my lunch hour, I have a tough time saying no. When the world says we should be busy running to three different activities every night and six different events every weekend, it seems normal, and I don’t want to miss out on something, so of course, off we go.
Here is what I have decided to do, because I truly want to be able to enjoy my favorite time of year. First, it starts with identifying my non-negotiables. I identified the things that keep me going—the things that I need to do to function optimally. For me, these include:
Clean eating (which requires meal prep time)
Daily devotions/quiet time
I have found that putting everything in my schedule so I know when things will get done helps me from getting overwhelmed by a long to do list. This means everything—exercise, grocery shopping, laundry, paperwork, social outings, etc. If I can see that there is time to get it all done, then it will be less overwhelming and maybe I won’t lose sleep over it. If I find that there isn’t time to get my “must do’s” done, then I know I have to say no to something else or cross an activity off my list.
So, let’s all stop saying “Busy. Good, but busy.” Let’s make a point to slow down so that we can say, “I am doing well.” Let’s take time to cherish and enjoy not only summer but everything life has to offer. Here is to slowing down this summer and enjoying the wonderful long days and cherishing them while they last!
Angie McCormick is a Physical Therapist, Nutrition Consultant and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for Balanced Fitness and Health in Hiawatha, Iowa. Her professional expertise and personal experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) enrich her work helping clients with the exercise, nutrition and life skills required to conquer pain.