Monday, August 6, 2007

What if ... we stopped trying to cram so much into our lives?

I bring this question up because I see not only in my own life how I tend to try to cram more things into my days then I can possibly do but just how that seems to be the norm almost everywhere you go especially when it comes to kids and learning.

My kids just finished up two weeks of swimming lessons and they were excited to start them considering they just learned how to swim this past 4th of July. After the first day, they were no longer excited about their lessons and were very happy for them to be over. In only two weeks of lessons they really were pushed to learn how to float on their backs and stomachs, do the front and back crawls, tread in water over their head, retrieve rings from the bottom of the deep end, dive in the deep end off the side of the pool and jump off the diving board and the last two days were testing on all this. Wow, I definitely didn't expect beginning lessons to teach so much in such a short time. Needless to say, I too am happy the lessons are over.

I completely believe we need to challenge ourselves and our kids but I think a lot of things are done out of fear that we are not keeping up with others or with what is expected of us so we push ourselves more then we need to or should and then lose the joy of doing what we're doing.

What if ... we stopped trying to cram so much into our lives? I think if we did, we would enjoy the things that we do instead of it being a drudgery because we will begin to appreciate the whole process of what we are doing seeing that as more important rather then just focusing on the end result.


Anne said...

Lori, oh my goodness, your story about swimming lessons brought memories back. I'm not an overly protective mother, but I remember wincing a bit while watching my little three-year-old daughter jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool in order to practice rescuing herself. (There were other adults in the pool spotting her, of course. Still.) Sometimes we feel like we're floundering in the deep end of the pool with all the commitments we've made, don't we? I'm purposely trying to find more balance in my own life, as I'm a champion over-committer. :) Yesterday I had some creative team responsibilities at work and then the rest of the day I did virtually nothing at all. No laundry. No housework. No cooking. It felt wonderful the deepend became a place to float serenely.

lifecoachlynn said...

This touches on the very topic I have been very convicted of lately-our performance-driven society. I'm reading an excellent book right now called "Dancing Solo" by Tim Green that talks about breaking the performance trap. I often have to catch myself that I'm not imposing my performance-driven personality on my kids and just let them be kids. I have much to unlearn in this area.
Thanks for the post!

Randee said...

I just read today another piece from Oswald Chambers and he made a critical observation. Again, I paraphrase:

God does not put us through adversity to learn from it but to "unlearn".

Isn't that provocative?

NYCindividual said...

I remember swimming lessons. I still don't know how to swim very well. Cna't swim in the lake or ocean, just in a pool. I do water aroebics and such, but that's all. When I was a couple years old, my dad dropped me in the pool when he lost his footing. After that, I never could do any of the stuff they wanted me to do in swimming lessons. It took me a long time to get up the courage to go underwater. Even now I won't do it without goggles that cover my eyes and nose. Even with the goggles I can't hold my breath for too long. I guess this story could be used as an allegory for the way God lets us fall sometimes, but always ends up picking us up. Thanks for the inspiring post.

Kimberly said...

Well, I thought I'd share something from my own life here.

I have fibromyalgia. I've learned over a period of time that I can only do a certain amount in one day. If I even try to do one more than I can I'm in serious trouble physically.

I have to sacrifice certain things and prioritize things in a way so that I can get stuff done. So, one day something may get left out because something else is more important for that day.

My body & mind has been forced to not cram stuff in and overdo it.

Many blessings,

LaTara Ham-Ying said...

Cramming it all in! What a statement. I have been balancing myself for the last year and have made some success, but I still tend to put too much in there.

I liken it to a plate of soul food. You pile your plate with some collard greens, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, oh yeah and some of the other meat too. Then you make room for the potato salad. You realize that you forgot the sweet potatoes, and yeah that dinner roll as well.

You try to balance an unbalanced plate and end up with one huge mess on the floor.