A Week Without Think Time

I have said recently, “If we close Think Time, I am printing enough to last me for the rest of my life because I am not willing to live another week without it.”

Truthfully, my life swallows me up in a minute without Think Time.

It is too much for me.

I am a stay at home mom with a business and four young kids (the youngest is 6 months), married to a man who is excellent at what he does.  And, you know as I do, when you are excellent at what you do, you continue to receive promotions—which is another word for more and more responsibility.  So, life is demanding for both of us.  Every minute counts.

Well, we had just finished two weeks of “tummy bugs,” and I was so excited to get back out in the real world and live life again.

Then, I got sick.

Now, it is one thing for the kids to be sick.  It is hard.  It is challenging.  It can stretch me just about more than I can take on top of an already full plate.

However, it is categorically another event for the entire family when Mommy is sick.

This weekend, I came down with strep throat.

Thankfully, this time the worst of my sickness was over the weekend, but I was in bed for a full day, and I was not even considering thinking on a higher level to do my Think Time.

So, like it or not, Monday rolls around.  I am still sick, and now I am caring for four kids too.  So, Monday, I did not do my Think Time.  But, I did make it to the doctor.

Tuesday, I am a little better having started medicine the day before, but still under the weather and still not even thinking about Think Time.

Wednesday, I feel like all of the to-dos of the world are crashing in around me.  Everything feels urgent and important.  Over the past few days, I accidentally promised more than I could deliver to several people.  I just think I can do more than I really can.  I felt like I was swimming in undone tasks—unclear what to do first.  I was making some traction because of good habits stored up over time, but it wasn’t enough.

The biggest clue for me that I am out of balance is when my three year old asks me to play with her multiple times, and I answer her multiple times that it is not the right time to play.

That used to happen a lot.

For years, I felt swallowed up by tasks all around me just staring at me.  All of them seemed completely urgent, yet they were not why I gave my notice at work to BE at home.  These little people were the reason.  Yet, for some reason.  It.  Seemed.  So.  Hard.  To.  Get.  To.  Them.

So, those familiar feelings were creeping in yesterday.  I recognized the red flags, and I pulled an audible.

On top of everything, I could feel the weekend already upon me.  I have special plans for the weekend that required some careful thought to execute well.

So, when the baby went to sleep for her afternoon nap, I grabbed the opportunity!  I sent the big kids outside to play with strict instructions to have fun “outside.”  I kept the window open and peeked out often, so I could still hear them and monitor them, but I was focusing in.  I needed clarity.  Fast.

I grabbed my Think Time, my fine point Sharpie pen, and my big box of Prismacolor pencils and set to work.  Because I had some real time details to quickly assimilate into my calendar, I also had my Mac open.

Within about 20 minutes, I could feel the clarity opening into my life.  Another 10, and I was in the game again.

I knew I was back when I sent an e-mail to postpone an appointment that clearly was not priority in a week that resembled a mile-high burger with sickness on one end and big plans on the other.

Life was still full, but I was back in the driver’s seat—ensuring that it was happily full, but not stressfully overflowing.

I have had many moments like these since starting Think Time.  Sometimes I feel as if my head will just burst with the pressure.  Then, I grab a few moments of uninterrupted down time with my Think Time.  And, my life literally moves from chaos to calm.  It can take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes depending upon what is going on to get re-centered in the middle of the crazies, but those breathers make all of the difference.

And, just because this is a stay-at-home mom example doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply at the office.  Everything I do here, Keith does at work.  We both lead teams of people with all types of personalities toward a common vision.  We both have deadlines.  We both have meetings.  We both have interruptions.  We both need to refuel.

We both need to maintain perspective and plan ahead or everything really will crash in on us and on those who depend on us.

If the phrase “moving from chaos to calm” strikes home with you, it is because it has struck our home first.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

The struggles are VERY REAL.

We live them every day.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

So, next time you feel the crazies coming, be sure you @taketimetothinktime to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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Christine Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Blog Highlights:

Life is demanding.

Every minute counts.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

Take time to Think Time to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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