old habits

“Hurry up, get your shoes on, get your coat on, we need to go. Come on girls quickly, hurry up and get in the car, I’m waiting”.

Yes, my girls are 2 and almost 4. Yes, they do need some encouragement to get motivated and get moving. But, I am increasingly challenged by how much of my time I spend rushing them. More often than not rushing them to things where it doesn’t really matter what time we get there. To things I have organised, I have planned, things I have mapped out for them to do in the day.

Recently I have come to a realisation that this rushing is in fact an old habit. A habit I used when I was not doing well, to control things and keep them organised in my life and my mind, so that my messy emotions didn’t spill over and take front stage. It was a coping mechanism. And that is okay for a while, for the time when you need to cope. But that time is past, and now it is a habit, and not a healthy habit like brushing your teeth or daily exercise. An unhealthy habit that is teaching my family that the way to do life is at a frantic pace.

On Sunday I consciously tried to slow my pace, to not rush the family. Do you know what I observed? A family that rushed anyway. Those habits have already been learnt, and I think as a family we will have to work hard to unlearn them.

be still
photo Simon McCarthy

We are on holiday at the moment. The scene is tranquil. The wind is chill and brisk, invigorating. The days stretch before us with no plans. It is killing me not to plan ahead and fill them. I am still rushing the girls to get in the car, even on holiday; somehow their slower pace is a pressure point for me.

I am trying to breathe, trying to listen to the ebb and flow of the waves, which have their own rhythm and cadence. I am once again learning the unforced rhythms of grace. Giving grace to myself, Mr and my girls; working on slowing down; breathing; and remembering that old habits die hard.