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Slow Down

Don't miss out on the precious things in life because of an ambitious to-do list.

Slow down and de-stress by watching a beautiful sunset.

I zipped past my father carrying an armload of dirty laundry. A few seconds later, I zipped past him again, headed the other direction, with a basket full of clean laundry.

A few minutes later, I was carefully wrapping Allyson’s birthday presents while ordering the princess cake for her upcoming party. As soon as I finished the call, I glanced up and met Dad’s disapproving look.

Michelle and her dad in a "slow down" moment“You are too busy, honey,” he said, sitting in the La-Z-Boy in my living room, watching “The Price Is Right.” “You need to slow down and enjoy life a little more.”

He was right.

At that moment, I realized I had been totally ignoring my precious Dad in order to accomplish all of the tasks on my to-do list that morning. All Dad wanted me to do was sit down and spend some quality time with him and Bob Barker. So, I did. I knew the present-wrapping could wait, and I could return calls later.

I grabbed my favorite leopard-print blanket, curled up on the couch, and watched “The Price Is Right” alongside my Dad, bidding on items as if I were among the people in Contestant’s Row.

We laughed and talked and cheered on our favorite contestant in the Showcase Showdown before retreating to the kitchen for a mid-morning snack–chocolate no-bake cookies and coffee. I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on that special time with my Dad because of an overly-ambitious to-do list.

Daddy passed away a few months later (May 8, 2004), and I’d give anything to spend another morning like that with him, but his words of wisdom remain with me.

When I am writing non-stop trying to meet a book deadline or attempting to clean and reorganize the entire house or packing for an upcoming conference or trying to do all of those tasks at once (Yes, I believe in multi-tasking!)–I’ll hear Dad’s words: “You are too busy, honey…you need to slow down and enjoy life a little more.”

And, so I have been.

The to-do lists will always be, but special times with loved ones can slip by too quickly. So, watch a game show with your elderly parents or stop by for a nice chat.

Play a board game or carve a pumpkin with your kids. Take a long romantic walk with your spouse and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather (because winter is coming!). Take time today and every day to simply enjoy life–and maybe a chocolate no-bake cookie, too.  

Pray this with me:

Father, I know that I allow myself to become too busy and often miss out on special times with loved ones. And, I realize that I become so ‘to-do list’ driven that I sometimes fail to appreciate the beauty around me.

So I am asking that You help me prioritize better and slow down enough to enjoy life more. Thank You for loving me and giving me such a wonderful life to enjoy. In the Mighty Name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

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