Covington, Virginia

Slow Down and Breathe

Let's take a detour from the normal entry and touch on the personal and mindfulness side of our lives. We often as employees, parents, spouses, bosses, etc. get so caught up in the rustle and bustle of our lives; we tend to allow it to control us. If you are nodding your head to that - then hopefully this message will touch you and help you notice those slow down moments more often as well.

This Monday morning, yes, I said the dreadful Monday word...was a typical Monday morning: hitting the snooze button, wanting to stay in bed, dragging myself out to get the coffee started, I'm sure many of you can relate. I took my shower, enjoyed my morning facial routine, and woke my son up. Let's fast forward past getting everything packed up for his day at school and my work day.

It was 8:00am. We should be loaded up in the car and on our way to conquer our day. But this "typical Monday" had other plans. His pants were too big. Que the inner frustrated sigh as I now had to take the minutes to tighten up those little bands on the sides (if you know, you know...) Three minutes later, I put his shirt on. It was a collared shirt with the two buttons up top. I forgot to unbutton them (you know.. feeling rushed due to racing the clock). I could feel the pressure as the clock ticked forward and we were still attempting to get dressed. After I finally got the shirt unbuttoned, his sleeve was stuck in his collar and he could not get his arm in. I really felt the frustrated grunt starting to surface until...he laughed.

My almost six year old laughed in a moment that I was seeing as frustration. That giggle of his calmed me down. In the midst of his laugh, he said "what is up with today, its just a hard day". And he laughed, again. My frustration quickly subsided. And I laughed. We laughed together as we untangled his sleeve and got him completely dressed. I took a deep breath and allowed that time to let me regain control of my day. At 8:08, we were walking out of the door.

8 minutes. I was about to let those 8 minutes set the tone for not only my day, but his day as well. Had I let my frustration surface, my child would have went to school feeling rushed, feeling overwhelmed, feeling anxious that I was upset with him. I would have pushed my frustration onto him, set the tone for his day and show him an inappropriate way to handle simple "hiccups"... all because of 8 minutes.

Slow down. It's okay. Enjoy the moments. Cherish them. In the blink of an eye, my child had started Kindergarten. We get so lost in rushing the clock, sometimes we miss moments and often create hectic and frustration among ourselves. Before I know it, I will not be needed to help him get dressed in the morning. Before I know it, he will be driving himself to school. Before I know it, our home will be a place for him to visit. Before I know it, I will wish for those 8 minutes again.

I am joyful for those 8 minutes. I am joyful for this "hard" day. I encourage you to take those "8 minutes" and conquer them. My son and I conquered our "hard" morning, by not letting it conquer us. My almost six year old son taught me a lesson today. A lesson that I will utilize daily.

"The hard days will let you down, only if you allow it. You are stronger than those hard days."

To my son, I love you. Thank you for helping me grow.