Experiencing Life at 5MPHPosted: March 2, 2012
For the last few years my family and I have experienced life at 70-80 mph. We go, go, go and stop only to sleep for the 5-6 hours we have before the next day of going. My kids (ages 14, 12 and 9), husband and I have gotten so good at going and multi-tasking that we forget sometimes to just be and focus on one thing at a time. This is why the stress fracture my oldest daughter recently incurred was a blessing in disguise. Finding out that you have a vertebrae on the edge of breaking due to a sports injury (dancing) can really slow one down. However, taking a positive view and knowing it is only temporary can really help and make the time pass with more meaning. (I continue to remind us of this every day)…
Keeping Up with Life
I’ve been contemplating my next post for this blog and was backlogged due to increased parenting as my husband was on business travel, and recently discovering that our oldest has the said stress fracture . Having a stress fracture would be devastating for anyone, but being a competitive dancer at the beginning of the new season, and finding out you need to take six weeks off from an active life can be excruciatingly painful. However, thanks to the type of kid she is- a sparkling creative soul–she is taking things as well as can be expected. I am having a harder time with it than she is…she is able to see the big picture, and I’m in the trenches with all the details! She definitely is a “glass is half-full” person. And I’m constantly filling all the glasses in the family.
Going from dancing 20+ hours a week to ZERO has had an impact on my daughter, my family and myself (*aka TAXI MOM). My daughter now has time for studies, sleep, friends and other things in life that were on the back burner from dancing. My family now has time for spending more time together, as we have alloted time for the fitness center to help with her injury (she can only bike), my son’s need for activity (trying out racquet ball) and mine (needing the elliptical) as well. We also had the fortune/misfortune of timing… right before the competition season started and what our school district calls “district recess”. With that in mind, as my husband returned from travel and the district recess started, we felt it was time to get back to nature and go camping.
Who Needs the Snow When You Can Have the Beach?
We usually go to the snow this time of year, but had to adjust for injuries so we decided to take a weekend to go camping locally in San Diego at Mission Bay. What does Mission Bay have to offer? Down time and lots and lots of nature. And furthermore, a maximum traveling speed of 5 miles per hour! We spent a few days “being” in the sun, riding bikes, talking, dreaming, appreciating nature and just “chillaxing”. We ate meals together, woke up together and went to bed about the same time, together. Some friends we have known for longer than we have been parents visited with their kids and we just caught up. Their life style is as busy as ours- they have 3 kids too- but they found time to just hang and celebrate life. They probably welcomed that visit– to allow themselves a moment to breathe.
Because of this setback with my daughter and our get-a-way, I’m realizing that slowing to smell the roses, feel the sun on your skin, and hear the birds chirp is beneficial (especially if you are taking pictures of nature’s treasures around you). Although you may not be traveling far, coasting in this way can gain you great distance in life in general. This is what mindfulness is really about… appreciating the here and now for what it is (even just listening to your own breath). The challenge I find is that it’s hard trying to fit it into life as it normally happens (and shifting our speed limit back at home from 70mph to 5). I’m looking forward to exploring this concept in my next post, and recommend some unique ways to remind ourselves about mindfulness and just be– in this crazy digital age of doing. Try to look at life from a different angle and slowing down… you’ll never know what you’ll find unless you try.