Putting the brakes on

I have been absent from my blog for longer than I wanted to be, however, it was a combination of searching for the right topic, and reviewing my life, that kept me away. What I found out through all the searching for a new topic, was the topic was staring me right in the face.

Time to Slow it Down

As I continue to search for balance in my life, less stress, more time to do things that I find fun, peaceful and relaxing, I came to the conclusion I enjoy my life most when my stress is lowered and it’s a slower pace (who doesn’t right?). How can I make this happen in a fast-paced world? I have been struggling with this question since I had my son, and work with a family-owned business, while running my own business “from home.”

There has to be a way to accomplish all these things. I see many people out there that seem to have figured it all out. Now whether they have or not is one thing, but they appear to have it figured out. I keep telling my husband, there have to be better, easier ways, to do things that need to be done in life without stress, and without sprinting through life.


My first stop on this journey was my work schedule, getting work done, and less stress while at work. The number one thing that causes increased stress in my life, and I am sure everyone else’s life, is the amount of stress related to the workplace.

We run a small family-owned printing business. It is small in the fact that it’s not a major corporation and there are only a couple part time people working there, and I am one of those people. Because there is only my father, our office manager, and myself, it’s a very busy and hectic place because for a small business, we do a lot of business!

My work has become very backed up. I have always worked part time with the business, and was always able to accomplish all my work, and more, in my time at the office. However, things seem to have changed (and in what way I can’t figure out), but more and more people are looking for me in particular and need my advice and personal attention and therefore, have left me with little time to actually work. How do I get the work done, please the customers and not feel like a stress ball all day?

I tried working from home. Working from home with a toddler is impossible unless the toddler is sleeping, and let’s face it, the last thing I feel like doing when he finally takes a nap, or goes to bed, is to begin work! I tried it for the last 16 months and it doesn’t lower my stress, and in fact increases it. I feel the nag of the work while the toddler is awake, and the nag of it while I am working on it and not spending time with my husband.

Solution: One would think the solution is to go to work more. However, I can’t get more work done when I am there, and the cost of going to work another week day is not economical for us. The solution is doing a half a day on the weekend where my husband can take some time with our toddler, and I can still be home to spend the afternoon with them. I tried it this weekend and it was better. Now to see if it lowers the stress in the week ahead! I believe it will because I already feel better knowing that I have half the amount of work waiting for me at the start of the week.

Time for Kiddos

How do we slow down when our kids require so much “go go go” time? Everyone needs limits. Adults, and children. It’s good for everyone. Sometimes the answer of “no” is the right answer to extra activities.

Our son has a cyclical fever that is still hanging on and we learned after the first few months of it that repeated activities over an entire weekend seemed to make it worse. We needed to apply some limits to keep our son healthy. Not only does it help him stay healthy, but it’s good for us. It slows down our pace, and gives us private time at home as a family.

How do you make life slow down?

Sometimes you just have to eliminate things from your life and find another way. YOU have to be the one to apply the brakes. Today’s society is CERTAINLY NOT going to do it for you. If you want a better, slower pace of life, get it! It might mean seeking out some extra help. Maybe you just have too many tasks to get done for one person, and I am sure everyone does.

I was doing all the transporting of our son, to and from his grandparents house, a 90 mile trip every time I worked. So not only was I forced to hurry and jam 5 days of work into 2, but I had to drive 90 miles every day! Insanity. Asked my husband to please help, and now my trip is only 65 miles! What a difference.

Sometimes help is right there and you just never saw it. Keep searching for better ways to slow it down. They are there. It takes time, and energy and that’s hard to find, but it’s worth it when you do.

Turn off the electronics!
This is another method I have been using. At 8 p.m. the phone goes to vibrate. No more alerts for messages, no more phone calls. Now do I check the phone 1 or 2 times through the evening to be sure something important hasn’t missed my attention related to family or friends, of course. However, by 9:15 p.m. there is no more checking, and only peace.

We recently got rid of our cable. We still have the Internet, but that is all. We now use online television and media services that stream video to watch what we want when we want. What I have found is that we watch the shows we want, and the rest of the time there is peace. No TV, no background noise of annoying commercials. More one-on-one time with each other. We listen to music instead, or we read. It’s one less distraction from ourselves and our lives.

People need to feel they are getting direct attention, or they feel neglected. All the online time with friends and posts, and chats, can never replace the importance of spending quality time with your loved ones. The phone, Internet, TV, posts, chats, tweets and more will still be there in a few days when you decide you want to take a look at them again. What’s the worst thing that could happen by skipping them for a few hours, or a few days? You missed what your friend ate for dinner that night with a disgusting photo taken with their iPhone? You had a wonderful evening playing with your child and laughing, and then settling down with a good book before bed?

It’s worth it!

  1. It’s time to apply the brakes, and take a break!