With the New Year having just arrived, I have a confession to make.
I'm a total speedoholic and a rushaholic.
And I've become an even bigger speedoholic and rushaholic since having a baby and returning to full-time work.
Reflecting on 2021, I realise that I have managed to achieve a lot - got back to work from maternity, managed to juggle having my daughter at home until she was 11 months before she started daycare, made new friends in the Netherlands, travelled 3 times during these COVID days (probably would've been 13 had it not been for COVID) and generally, kept everything going smoothly, taking care of my family daily while having a newborn and now a toddler.
I'll be honest, having a child is a lot of work, especially when neither my husband nor I have any family living here in the Netherlands. I did not expect it to be that much and I'm guilty of trying to do many things on my own (even though I have a terrific, supportive husband) and putting pressure on myself to get so many things done in a single day, feeling like a failure when not getting something done or not getting it done on time as per my original plan. The time I've had for myself to recharge or disconnect has been minimal, mainly because I had prioritised other to-dos.
The work-life balance or work-life integration I had before having my beautiful daughter was figured out and sorted; it was working perfectly. But in 2021, I've been trying to adjust to my new normal. In some areas, I've succeeded, in others I haven't and especially in taking care of myself.
As we enter 2022, a really good TED video popped into my email inbox - In Praise of Slowness - which you can see below.
I guess it was a needed reminder for me to think about what really matters and how many things are in our control, even though our society demands busyness.
So for 2022, I pledge to take the time to:
- watch my daughter and enjoy my time with her not worrying about all the things I have to do like cooking, washing clothes and all these other chores - they can wait or we can do them together slowly and in bits and pieces
- do more of the things I like on my own to take care of myself - facials, massages, walks etc.
- enjoy cooking meals trying not to rush it so I can get to the next thing
- eat all family meals slowly, disregarding the mess my daughter makes and dealing with it later
- read before bed, even for 5 minutes to get my body and mind to rest - I used to read 40-50 books a year, in 2021 I got to about 10 because of pure exhaustion in the evening or not getting to reading during the day
- blog more - I truly enjoy writing here as it helps me learn, recharge, think through things but I have simply not had the time or prioritised it for other things
- be more in the moment and relax without worrying about the next thing that has to get done or is up next in the plan
- congratulate myself for completing two things instead of the 12 I originally had on my mental list for the day
In Praise of Slowness [Video]
What do you pledge to do more slowly in 2022?