My mornings, especially those during the week, start off with a bang.  Alarm goes off, I jump out of bed and begin my day.  One could call it a rush…or frantic beginning might be a better description.  It doesn’t slow down much throughout my day with the phone ringing, emails, text, instant messages from co-workers.  Most communication is requesting something…can you? Did you? Think you could?  I’m not complaining about that, well yes, a little, because it does pay the bills but it does wear a body down.

Most of us think we can only take time out for ourselves on vacation, and unfortunately for some, there is little time or money for that. And if you are like me, guilt plays a role in how busy you stay.  The minute you slow down you think of 17 other things you could be doing.  Laundry, clean, write long over due thank you notes, buy that baby gift only to realize the kid is now five years old.  Time not only goes by too quickly, it laughs at you as it passes by.

One particular day I was overly tired and overly cranky.  I came home to my daughter doing her homework and she asked the innocent question “how was work”…I almost gave the canned response “fine” but decide to be honest not just with her but myself. “You know, it wasn’t so great”.  Her head raised from the computer and she gave me a concerned look with what I thought would follow some supportive words.  “School wasn’t great either,” she replied and went back to homework.  I sighed heavily as I trudged upstairs to my room planning to workout and have a nice little pity party in my mind.  However, once I got in my room, my bed looked extremely inviting.  Could I actually ….dare I say it….take a nap?  Worth a shot.  While it wasn’t a long nap, maybe 30 minutes, it definitely erased my day.  My workout that night was better and my daughter and I had a much better night.

So what is this new thing about giving yourself a break?  I kinda liked it.  I have for the past few weeks given myself daily breaks or to make it sound better, I call them “mini-vacations”.  I sit and enjoy my coffee on the weekends and don’t start my days off in a rush. I take time out at work to discover there is an outside during the week even if its only a 15 minute walk. I have even said “no” on occasion when my schedule starts to overwhelm me.  Sounds small, right?  By doing this,  all the other things I do have become better.  I’m much more relaxed at home with my daughter. And work, while it’s still hectic, has improved.

I learned I had to slow it down a bit to do the things I love with more focus and intent.  For instance, after I write this a nice long walk has my name all over it.