2015-10-28 / Opinion

Take time to slow down

BY SHANNON ARBAUGH, SANDUSKY Mom, financial services officer, volunteer

They always say that the older you get the faster time goes by. As I reflect back over the last eight years (my time as a Mom) and how fast they have passed, I guess I have to accept that I am getting old! As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I think it’s safe to say that 2016 will be here in the blink of an eye. Rather than focusing on getting older, I prefer the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun.” While I am definitely having fun and enjoying my life, I think there is always room for improvement and more fun.

My goal is to try and slow down and truly live in the moment - not just over the upcoming holidays, but every day. It’s easy to be constantly looking ahead, especially being the “Type A” personality that I am. However, as my kids are growing, it really is an eye opener that they are only going to be “kids” for a short time. It’s so important to treasure every moment. I also realize that - at their ages (6 and 8) - they still think their Dad and I are pretty cool and smart, and they actually like hanging out with us. I also understand that soon enough their friends and crazy sports and social schedules will quickly supersede Mom and Dad’s coolness.

Children look up to their parents. They adore us and want nothing more than to be like us. That’s why it’s so important that we set good examples all the time - through our actions, our words, and our behavior. Sometimes I think that our kids can teach us almost as much as we try to teach them without even trying. Our children don’t worry about their “To-Do” lists and other things they “should be” doing. Instead, they truly enjoy the moment that they are presently in. This is especially true when making family memories - whether we are visiting an apple orchard, playing a board game at home, or reading a story together. As much as my kids enjoy going places and seeing new things, they truly treasure any family time - especially reading with us, playing Legos or Barbies, playing sports in the yard, and cooking, too. While I have taught them that “To-Do” lists are important and can help us to accomplish many tasks and goals, they have taught me that it’s ok to put that list aside and live in the present.

So I’ve decided to make a few changes to help me be a better role model to my kids. They’ve actually become an inspiration to me. I’m going to slow down. I’m going to play more. I’m going to be silly with them. I’m going to put my phone away and remember - whether it’s work or personal - it can wait for an hour. I’m going to continue to take pictures to document our memories, but I’m not going to worry about having a “perfect” photo every time. I’m going to give more hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement. I’m going to yell less and give fewer lectures. I’m going to truly try to live in the moment – each and every moment.

Although these tasks might sound simple and routine to some, it’s not always easy for me to put aside housework or the never-ending “To-Do” list - especially knowing that the activities about to commence will likely end with adding a few more items to that list. Being a busy working mom and having only a few hours a day with my children, it’s not always easy to clear your mind and focus solely on “the now.” However, that’s exactly what I am going to do.

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