By Samantha McKenzie
We spend most of our lives using up every bit of our time. We live in a society so pressed for time, so obsessed with doing stuff, that we no longer value precious space and quietness. We are a self-professed nation of busy people. It’s the American way.
I know. I am an errand-driven, workaholic, technology junkie. I take my work home with me. I sift through my mobile devices to stay abreast of what’s happening. I use every bit of after-hours and weekends to get caught up on my task list and look for leftover minutes in every day just to fit in a little more. I run and run and run, until I reach exhaustion.
It’s time I took a breather. To help my cause, I read over these snippets of information from the American Heart Association:
- Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African American women each year
- Of African American women ages 20 and older, 49% have heart disease
- More than 40% of African Americans have high blood pressure
- African Americans tend to have higher rates of diabetes and obesity, and
- African American women experience stroke at twice the rate of Caucasian women
It’s time to practice a new way of living. A way that we can reduce stress and view time in a different light. It’s not that work or school or errands will no longer be important. It’s just that if we intend to give more of our time to these things, then we have to stay alive. Don’t buy into the Superwoman title. It’s unhealthy and unrealistic.
Create a new type of to-do list. Instead of 15 things, reduce it to 10, 8, 6 items. Instead of cramming, try spreading out the chores throughout the week or the month. Learn to say no (ouch!), volunteer less (double ouch!) and cancel something that doesn’t make sense anymore. Negotiate with yourself about the things you really want and need to do.
What if our schedules looked like this:
- Sip tea on the back porch before anyone else in the house gets up
- Go grocery shopping
- Pick up clothing from dry cleaners
- Take afternoon walk
- Take son to baseball practice
- Buy gift for baby shower
- Take a nap
- Cook dinner
- Don’t’ answer phone between 2-4 pm
- Eat dinner/TV off
- Decline invite to friend’s party
- Be still.