The story behind my 2017 motto & bracelet

My mother in law made a comment the other day that stuck with me. I can't quite remember the setting, but we were chatting over what our family's week was going to be like. She named some of the events taking place in her home, shared some about my brother-in-law's, and then when she came to us, she laughed and said "Well, you guys are always just busy anyway." And that was that. 

It was a offhand remark that really wasn't supposed to mean anything, but it nagged at me. Her tone wasn't accusing, more just stating fact. And I didn't like it. Because she was right. 

We are really busy. So busy in fact, that I realize I'm always to get on top of things without ever really getting to the bottom of things.

That's the thing about of human relationships. They don't function off checklists. Quick hellos and how-are-you's are only small supplements to what should be a solid foundation.

"Busyness" is a disrupter. When I ask how someone is, I ask to know how their lives are going, whether they feel bored, excited, content, or whatever it may be. But the response that I hear the most, and the one that I even personally dish out, is "We're doing good. Just staying busy."

Here's a consequence of that response.

Most people I know are not good at asking for help when they need it. They don't want to be a "burden". So they tentatively poke around to see where they can find help, and don't ask for it when they feel like someone is too busy. That's killer. If I knew that someone needed me, then I want to drop what I'm doing and help out when possible. But people don't usually ask. Maybe that's because they think everyone is too busy.

These verses from The Disease of Being Busy are fantastic.

How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?

What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

Those "pregnant pauses" tend to freak me out, because I have a silent fear of quiet people, but this passage did make me stop and think. When did I forget that I am a human being, not a human doing?

This goes back to the start of the year, but I used up the entire month of January to pick a characteristic of mine that needed strengthening, and with that an easy motto to remember. There were quite a few personality traits to choose from ;) , but what stood out to me was that I need to slow the heck down. I couldn't step back from most of my current responsibilities, but I could make some deliberate inner changes.

Thus, my theme became: "Be Here Now".

When I follow through on this motto, I am choosing to...

...Soak in the grocery shopping trip, for I have money to buy food.
...Gaze less at a screen and more into my baby's bright eyes.
...Remember the rush when I'm late to a meeting, but be so grateful for this job.
...Step away from the blog so I can dance with my toddler to her favorite music.
...Live in this moment, because all seasons are temporary.

These inward changes have been setting up my mindset for a very positive paradigm shift.

Now this next part will sound entirely frufru, but I found these tribe bracelets, including one that boasted my 2017 motto. I almost didn't buy it, but then decided that if I'm going to "be here now" then I was going to be in all the way. This is quite similar to the action-reaction to my maternity photos paradigm shift a while back. :)

Even though a piece of jewelry shouldn't make a huge difference, having a tangible object that reminds me "Hey remember you wanted to be a better person!" has been largely helpful. The soft brush of metal against my skin throughout the day has been like a little ping! that invites my theme back to mind. Since choosing the motto and adding this little accessory supplement to it, I have felt lighter, more grateful, and more connected in my day to day relationships. I really do love it.

Obviously, this process is still in the works. I chose this theme at the start of the year, and it was only a few weeks ago when my mother-in-law made that comment. Clearly, we are still putting out a "too busy to connect" vibe.

But I'll tell you one outward change that I've been working on, and it's been asking people how they really are, and in return telling them how I am really am doing. (Always a surprising day for the bank teller when she gets a sincere "omgee girl today has been insane and we haven't EVEN talked politics yet!")

Still, it's a start to open my heart and live in the moment.

It's been a lovely change. I'd love to hear your yearly mottos or goals if you do that sort of thing. :) 

This post contains a non-sponsored affiliate link. If you have somehow avoided the internet long enough to not know what that means, then I am impressed by your elite dodging skills. An affiliate link means if you purchase a product from Cents of Style via my website, then I will receive a small commission from the company. It's their way of saying "Hey, thanks for the shout out!" They did not ask me to write this post. :)

1 comment:

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