The art of doing less

As we head into another Friday, the piece my noodle keeps coming back to is the reminder to be kind. Not to other people, you’re already doing that most of the time. Nope, the person I feel compelled to remind you to be kind to today is you.

It goes back to the idea of over estimating what can be done in a day. Society teaches us to push. The art of the hustle is a much lauded thing and I know I’ve been guilty of it too with all my talk of action. Action is important.

And action is important, but we also need to remember to be kind to ourselves and the people around us.

It’s like a kind of counterpoint between action and kindness. It doesn’t need to be either/or. We can be kind while we take action. Not just that we can, surely that’s the default? Or, one would hope so at least.

But being kind to ourselves sometimes seems so much more difficult.

Maybe this is part of the problem that leads to us pushing and feeling the need to hustle. We say yes to all of the things, put everyone else’s needs first, thinking that in so doing we’re being kind and loving and a good human.

But sometimes the most loving, kind thing we can do is pop a pair of headphones in and feed our own soul first. Or maybe that’s just me trying to justify to myself why I’m here writing this first, headphones in (thank you!) while ignoring my hubby who’s home this morning before a late shift?

But no one said you and I have to be everyone else’s entertainment committee.

Sure, it’s nice to make sure the people you love are happy and content but if he’s bored by sitting on the sofa watching the telly, he needs to acknowledge that and do something about it. Same with the children or whoever else you might usually find yourself twisting into knots for. Boredom breeds creativity.

What if we made a conscious decision to do less, to keep our days wide open, to stop jumping to everyone else’s needs first?

With just two weeks left until school finishes for the summer, I’m already priming my children. My youngest daughter in particular is often heard complaining that she’s bored so I’ve challenged her to start thinking about the things she can find for herself to do. Call it a hobby if you will. Something she can engage herself in that doesn’t require anything other than herself and her imagination. (And no, cooking pizzas in her favourite Roblox world doesn’t count unless she’s first learned to code it herself!)

What if we stopped being everyone else’s head of entertainment? What would that look like? Just something to think about as you head into the weekend. ?

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