Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Slow Down!

We're (I'm) back! Did you miss us (me)? I won't bore you with the details of where I've been. But the high school reunion? Survived it. Finances? Budgeted. Hair? Cut. And an unexpected one: Cable? Cancelled.

In an effort to simplify our lives, we decided that cable just isn't worth it. We'll see if we change our minds when reality sinks in, and we can no longer watch what we want, when we want.

As a last ditch effort to watch the dozens of never-watched Oprah's on my DVR before pulling the plug, I watched this episode. It was advice for overwhelmed mother's, and really for all of us to slooooooooow down. I bawled my eyes out listening to Brenda Slaby's story of how she changed overnight from supermom, role model, and assistant principal to the "most hated mom in America."

Why? She strayed from her regular routine, and simply forgot that her two-year-old daughter was sleeping in the car. She normally wasn't the one to take her kids to daycare, but her husband had a dentist appointment, so she agreed to take little Cecilia on this particular day. Her daughter was asleep in her carseat, and with a mind focused on the tasks at hand on this first-day-of-school morning, Brenda simply forgot. And after EIGHT HOURS in a hotter-than-heck-sort-of-August-day-in-Texas, lifeless little Cecilia was discovered.

I remember hearing this story, and thinking it impossible that one could seriously forget a sleeping child. But after watching the show, my mind turned to numerous occasions where I was so focused on where I was going, or what was coming, that I could have easily been the one with disastrous consequences.

To name a few mindless acts, I've left the stove burners on for hours. I've left curling irons plugged in. I've left the front door wide open on a hot summer day, with AC on full blast ALL. DAY. LONG. I've left my kids unsupervised in the tub while trying to multi-task. I've locked myself out of my car with my kids inside.

I'm sure the list could go on. This show really was a good reminder for me to SLOOOOW DOWN. And more importantly, to live in the now. To focus on my kids when I'm with them, without thinking about the million things looming on my to-do list. Or the hundreds of blogs I have to read. Or write. Or the laundry that isn't folded. Or the workout that isn't done. You get the idea.
This was part of the motivation to cancel cable in the first place. After a tiring day "at the office," unwinding with hours of TV was perpetuating the tiredness problem. We'll see if my mind becomes a little more focused and a little less clouded.

So here's my advice to you mom's and otherwise BUSY people--slow down! Stop trying to live up to the unrealistic image of the "perfect mom." Do the best you can. Get some sleep! You'll be happier, healthier, and a better mom/wife/student/employee/fill in the blank, as a result! Plan for the future, but live in the present moment.

Have any of you had any close call reminders to slow down? Please share!

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