Our world is so crazy fast-paced these days. Every time I ask someone how they are doing the response is always the same, “I’ve been so busy!” Well, I’m choosing to spend more time slowing down.
The older my kids get the busier our schedules seem to be. Between sports, play dates, family gatherings, and museum visits it’s sometimes too much for this mom to handle. My kids are only 2 and 3 years old. And while most days I try to limit only going out once a day (sometimes making multiple stops along the way) our schedules seem to be filled.
So I make sure we have one unscheduled day every week. A day where we have absolutely no plans, no obligations. We are able to wake up slowly in the morning, taking our time with breakfast and staying in our pajamas a little bit longer, or sometimes even all day. We let the day unfold as it wants to.
And on those days I’m also encouraging them to be bored. Studies have shown being bored fosters imagination and creativity. I want my children to think outside the box. Some of the fondest memories I have as a kid are making up silly games with my sister. It not only bonded us, but it allowed us to expand our imaginations.
With the abundance of technology in our society today we have forgotten how to be bored. If we have an extra few minutes while we are waiting for our coffee order in the drive-thru, we pick up our phones. At the doctor’s office instead of picking up a magazine, we check our emails. I don’t want my kids to be reliant on screens to entertain them (and I’m so guilty of doing from time to time). I want them to be bored! I want them to spot an elephant in the clouds. Make up a game of cowboys or hairdresser. Take all the blankets out of the closet and build a tent.
Even as an adult I want to be bored. I’m a serial daydreamer. Just ask my husband about all the crazy “what if…” ideas I bring up to him. I love imagining up new adventures. And I still like pretending my hairbrush is a microphone. Yes, I still sing and dance in front of the mirror pretending I’m on stage. Why? Because it’s fun, and it makes me happy. And usually, my kids join in too because they think it’s fun.
By un-scheduling our day I’m making room for more impromptu dance parties. More dinosaur tea parties, more laughter, and more love. And a significant amount of less stress. I don’t do chores that day unless I absolutely get up the urge to do so.
I want to give my kids the opportunity to find out what makes them happy too. I want them to use their imagination. I want them to create new worlds. Find out what sparks their interest. That’s the best part about childhood. And I think as adults we’ve lost some of that along the way. We’ve forgotten how to be still.
They say your soul usually speaks loudest in the silence.
Inspiration usually strikes when you least expect it.
And I’ve often found that in those quiet moments when we tune everything out we start to become alive.