Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"The Torch We Carry"

Reading through my "Too-Busy Book" a few afternoons ago, I came across this passage:

I have lived to see a thing, and it is this: that women of the first generation beyond the women's liberation movement have yet to challenge and redirect the overweening dictum passed on to them by their mother's generation-that women must do it all, do it now, and do it faster. ALL includes career, marriage, children, community involvement, friendships, spirituality, personal fitness, and on it goes. The mothers of the thirtysomethings unwittingly handed to their daughters a load too great to bear, a load under which they stagger. They took it on, not knowing there was another way-not realizing that their grandmothers' lives were much simpler than theirs. And no one is saying (except in whispers) that doing it all is impossible, ridiculous-even laughable...A generation of women has accepted the torch without asking why (Andersen, 2004 pp 29 & 30).

This particular passage is intriguing to me because I think about how we are so darn busy all the time. We don't have time for family events, we don't have time for ourselves, we barely have time for God!

I have OFTEN wondered why it seems like life is so busy. It seems like back when my grandma was raising her kids, things were so much more...mellow. And this was a lady with 6 kids, later on there were 7! WHY were things so simple? Because they LIVED simply. My grandpa was a miner, my grandma stayed home with the kids and kept house. I remember hearing stories about how she would rearrange furniture nearly every week! Now I know where I get that from :) They didn't have a whole lot, some people might have even considered them poor. I do not know, I never really discuss that, but I just know that things were so much simpler. Grandma did what she had to do, grandpa went to work, kids played...

WHY are we caught in this trap of constant busyness? Not only do we overschedule our kids with soccer, gymnastics, dance, and art classes, but this translates as overscheduling for the WHOLE family. Speaking of...why ARE there so many activities for kids? What ever happened to just having a few baseball practices a week and then letting them play outside other times. WHY do our kids have to have a whole menu of activities neatly tucked in to every corner of our week? Why do we have to PLAN so much?

I was reading something about how things 'used' to be. How family would live close, the women would gather at someone's house, cook dinner together, wait for the men to get there, kids would be playing. What happened to the family-centered lifestyle that *used* to be. That's what *I* long for! It seems so much lighter and more simple, to just enjoy each other, help each other out, let the cousins PLAY together.

Now, we're too busy being involved in other things to have 'time' for anything. I think women these days live under this false idea that we can do it all. There is one area that has to suffer if we try to do it all-usually that area is US, ourselves; me-time doesn't exist, there is no time for relaxing.

I can't do it all...so, I've decided that changes must be made. I have to become more 'relaxed' about life in general. If I feel like taking a minute to read a little bit of a book, then I will. I will make a conscious effort to make more family time, and not just my family, but extended as well. There are other goals, but i'm running out of time before my kids start to murder each other!


dana said...

So I have to say that it creaps me out how similar our minds are. How when i'm going through something, you always seem to blog about it the next day! I just decided this very same thing yesterday! I'm sick of always being on the go and having things that i Need to do as opposed to the things i Want to do. From now on i'm flip floping them.. if Ethan wants to watch a movie or do a puzzle and there are dirty dishes in the sink.. guess what? They'll still be there when he goes to bed.. i'm sick of the "quality" time i spend with my son mostly consisting of the word "No"! We're actually taking all day Saturday and making it "Ethan Day" just the three of us doing the family thing :)

.. So i'm with ya, and any time saving/organizational/relaxing tips you may have, please do share!