BUSY is a Four Letter Word

by Christine Cashen

sorry_were_too_busy_graphic1Is your life rocketing by? People often say (when I say ‘people,’ I mean me), “Where is time going?!?” Who the heck knows? Every time I turn around I get a “due for a dental visit” postcard. Wasn’t I just there last month? Six months seem to pass like six weeks. Are you with me on this? When a new season hits, it is always a surprise. Wasn’t it just Christmas? Valentine’s Day? July 4??

If you ever wonder where time is going, consider your wonder a gift. Just having the realization is key. [The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?] In that moment of clarity, STOP and evaluate whether you are in control of your time, or is your time controlling you?

The key is to look hard (really hard!) at how you’re spending your time. Me? True confessions? I’m a Mashable/ Buzzfeed junkie, which leads me to click on another story, then another…oh look, an article on 10 ways to avoid procrastinating! I also admit to an ongoing Facebook addiction, as well as a growing fixation with Pinterest.

What about you? Are you watching Law and Order reruns from 2003 when you want to learn conversational French? Are you complaining that your boss doesn’t appreciate you and wishing for a new job, but sending ZERO resumes out?

Now I truly believe we should allow ourselves SOME time for these mindless dalliances. Some downtime is good, right (check out my Downtime is not a Crime post)? But clearly I need to set limits. Do you?

So next time someone asks you what’s new and you start into your rant about how busy you are, think about what you’re really busy with! Everyone you talk to is busy. If you complain about being BUSY,stop it. You can fill your time doing a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean they are important.

The next step? Decide to do something. Recognize and stop time thieves by
Becoming a Time Tamer:

• Take a moment to evaluate time wasters and replace them with things that are important
• Activate time limits for web surfing and social media. It is easy to click your way into a 3 hour time void. Stop checking, start doing.
• Mark time for YOU on your calendar. Stop overscheduling (this goes for your kids too!) and actually schedule rejuvenators – exercise, meditation, quiet time.
• Eliminate the YES SYNDROME – you can say NO more often.
• Remember to be in the moment – it truly is a present to be in the present.

Don’t wait for time to slow down. It won’t. Take charge today and tell time what time it is! Isn’t it about time?

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Reservations About Humor?

by Christine Cashen

When people think about humor, it usually relates to telling jokes, or situations where you double over in laughter. To me it’s more than that – it’s about having (and making) fun in the ordinary and often dull routines in everyday life.

For example, after dropping the kids off at school, I dread coming home to the disaster in my kitchen. Often times while cleaning up breakfast dishes and lunch prep chaos, our chocolate lab will plop down nearby with a heavy sigh.

In my effort to put off re-combobulating the kitchen for as long as possible, I call his name – Murphy – and then I hide behind the counter. When he scrambles to his feet, a chase around the center island ensues. Yes, I play Hide & Seek with my dog. Don’t judge me. It’s great fun and gets the blood flowing — for both of us.

Another fave in our family is the “Restaurant Name-Game.” Last week, I took my son on a lunch date to one of our favorite places, Which Wich. You build your own sandwich, turn in your order and write your name on the bottom of the bag. For kicks, we always put random names, like “Dude,” “Happy,” or “Tired Puppy” (that one would be mine). It is always a kick when the young employee yells out in a bland voice, “I have a turkey for… Tired Puppy.”

This can also backfire. My brother and his wife were going out for dinner and made reservations at their favorite restaurant. Also a goofball, he made the reservation using the name “Hungry,” and mentioned this was a special evening. At the end of their evening, the restaurant brought them a complimentary dessert with (in chocolate writing), “Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Hungry!”

How can you add fun to your daily routine? One thing is for certain – humor makes memories. Figure out ways to make the mundane into something memorable. Get out there and use humor to make the ordinary extraordinary!

Are We There Yet?

by Christine Cashen

On our car trip in Michigan this summer, it wasn’t long before the kids started asking the universal car question –-”Are we there yet??”

Knowing we still had a long way to go, I had to quash this line of questioning straight away. “Yes, we are exactly where we need to be.” This bought us a little bit of silence as they tried to figure out what I was saying. That was my answer the next time as well. They stopped asking.

As annoying as Are we there yet? is when my kids ask it again and again, I’ve found that many adults ask that question throughout their lives. Am I there yet? I will be there when I graduate from college, get a job, get married, have kids, when kids move out, change jobs, make X number of dollars, retire, etc. So many of us wait for a certain event to happen before we believe we’ll reach our destination of happiness and contentment.

Stop.

You are exactly where you need to be. If you don’t like where you are now, think like a GPS: recalculate and change direction. But whatever you do, take time to enjoy the journey. You’ve probably heard the saying,Wherever you go…there you areAnd you are. Enjoy.