We’ve all heard this quote ‘how you spend your days, is how you spend your life’ … it might seem a little airy-fairy to some … but in my opinion no truer words have ever been spoken!
Busy days lead to busy weeks, which lead to busy months, and sure enough busy years. Before we know it, we are thinking about Christmas and another year has passed us by. I remember being told as a young girl, don’t wish the years away, they go too fast when you are older! And it’s true. When you’re a kid the days were long, the weeks were long, and the years felt long. Counting down to Christmas only a month out, felt like an eternity. But why do things change so dramatically as we get older? Why is it that life seems to fly by without us noticing?
Some will say it’s because we are so busy, I mean, who’s got the time to ‘count down’ to anything! Except maybe the kids bedtime … am I right Mums?! And I agree, it most likely is because we are busy and life is so full. But I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that we are often not present with our thoughts. We’re usually three steps forward in our heads, thinking about what things need to happen next, and next after that. We spend a lot of time multi-tasking, and not a lot of time paying complete attention to what we are doing in that moment.
Have you ever spent some time actually watching the clock … I mean actually watching the hands tick over? It’s incredible how slow time appears when you are starring it in the face, pardon the pun!
Time actually isn’t fast at all.
One of the joys of being a child is the ability to ‘be in the moment’. You just have to take a walk with a Toddler to realize the complete lack of urgency they possess. The ability to stop and notice a little bug crawling along the footpath, or a funny shaped leaf that they just had to collect. Something we very quickly forget and lose, is our ability to stop and explore, to play, to truly be in the moment.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the cycle of ‘I’ll just do this and then I’ll be able to do that’ … but unfortunately so often, that time never comes.
So how do we achieve this? How do we decide to spend our days doing what we love? Let’s get real … we all have bills to pay, and sometimes our work isn’t what we dreamed it would be or even something we wanted to do. But life provides us the opportunity to find joy in even the most unexpected places. I’ve put together a few tips on how to work towards a life filled with intention, and how to find time to be in the moment:
Schedule time to play. As we get older we stop using the word ‘play’ to describe the time we spend doing something we love. But often that’s exactly what we are doing. It might be reading a book, drawing, writing a short story, gardening or going for walk. Whatever it is, find time to ‘play’ every day.
Go outside. There is so much to gain from getting your daily dose of fresh air. Not only is it good for our health, but studies have shown that people who spend time outdoors are more creative and better problem solvers that those who don’t. Being outside creates an opportunity to leave the technology behind and be truly immersed in what you are doing.
Connect with others. Make time to spend with those you love. Friends, Family, a pet, whoever it is, really be there with them. Put your phone away, turn off the screens and spend time talking, or playing a board game (this might be difficult with the family pet), but whatever you do, just make sure you are ‘all in’.
Reflect. Take the time to really think about how you are spending your days and the ‘why’ behind it. Is there something you would like to be doing that is not possible at the moment? If so, write it down, make plan to achieve it in the future, or perhaps it’s something you can put into action now. Either way, taking the time to reflect is super important, it allows you the space to questions things you may wish to change or to show gratitude for the things are going well in your life.
Do absolutely nothing. This might sound silly… but stopping and doing nothing creates space for change and opportunity. Have you ever thought you were so busy that opportunities were passing you by, that you were stuck on a one way train to nowhere, without any stops! Slowing down and finding time to do nothing, is a great way to re-charge and find time to do the things that you love. Over scheduling creates chaos, stress and anxiety, not things that promote an enjoyable and mindful lifestyle.
And if all else fails, just remember to be grateful for the time we have. To take just a few moments everyday, to remember that we ourselves are just a moment in time.
Thanks for reading,