It’s a simple question. It can be a conversation starter or sometimes just a pleasantry we exchange with our neighbors, friends at work, and the parents we see at drop off and pick up. I sometimes wonder, though, do we ever really want to know how someone else is doing? Because, if we did, we would need to devote our full attention to someone else, even just for a few minutes, and really focus on listening. Being present. Being connected. It’s a wonderful feeling, actually, to know that someone really does care about you. To feel that the person who is asking, “how are you?,” really wants to know the answer, even if the answer isn’t “great!”
I think we all long for connection. We want to feel connected with our friends, family and our children. It’s what fuels us to share our lives on Facebook, on blogs and to post pictures on Instagram. But in our rushed, overscheduled and busy lives, we don’t always make time to slow down and just be in the moment with another person.
I’m a big believer in setting intentions for my life and one of my intentions for 2015 is to not respond with “I’m so busy!” when someone asks me how I’m doing. I want to be more and do less. I don’t think being busy 24/7 makes us more productive, happy or fulfilled. There isn’t a prize awaiting the busiest person with the longest to do list! I think we sometimes reply with that standard answer of “I’m so busy” because we’re feeling overwhelmed with our lives. Perhaps we have too much on our plates, at home or at work or in both areas of our lives. Maybe it’s time to start saying “no” more if that means we are saying yes to more stress, less downtime as a family, and more running around or driving across town for an after-school activity. As a mom of two, I want to protect not only my time but also my family’s time. I want our daughters to remember their elementary school years as fun and filled with time with friends and family, not simply structured activities each day of the week.
I want to model a healthy work/life balance so that when they grow up and build lives of their own, they will remember to make time for fun! For me, fun can mean a great run by the ocean, a hike or walk with a friend, a day of surfing, or even a simple trip to the coffee shop for my favorite grande single shot vanilla latte! I want to practice slowing down sometimes–and that’s not something that comes easily for someone like me who is naturally a high energy, type A personality! My wish is that our daughters, as they grow up, will make time to ask their friends, “how are you?” and to truly want to hear the answer.