Q & A: She's Never Too Busy
In the past two years, all we hear from young adults is, 'I'm too busy". The age range for this 3-word sentence is between the ages of 25 to 34 years old. But for some odd reason, people are never too busy to scroll feeds or troll. They are most definitely, Never, ” too busy “ to try to become the one-hundred-millionth Instagram influencer/model, a YouTube sensation or adapt to the latest trend to gain attention. They are just too busy to be Original or have enough integrity to find their true passion. Everyone has become comfortable abusing the words "too busy" until they actually become too busy to use the word.
My cousin Lynette, who I admire, is the epitome of too busy. I have never heard her utter the words “too busy” but from the outside looking in she seems pretty busy to me. Lynette does everything with grace. She makes too busy look easy. My cousin is a wife, a mother to 3 adorable girls (all under the age of 10) and works a full-time job as a Speech Pathologist. However, she makes it a point to make herself a priority and finds time to reach out to family and friends in need. She and her husband reside several states away from any relatives due to her husband’s career. Yet, they still manage to tend to the medical needs of their parents. They do not have the luxury of a parent, siblings or cousin be an active participant in their children's life or have a family member babysit in order to run errands. A family life support system that most people take for granted. So they rely on each other and mindfulness to make it work.
I would imagine they have stressful moments in maintaining this thing called life. Stress is an evitable normal condition for everyone. But what impresses me is how a person continues to maintain merit over their life and their caring attitude towards others. Lynette and others alike are an example for the rest of us who may feel overwhelmed. They are an inspiration to keep going and to be mindful of what is important. Our character and integrity. I decided to do a Q and A with my cousin, to find out how she finds time throughout her busy day to make herself a priority.
What is the motto you have for yourself?
My motto is--"Work hard, Be Humble, Be Kind, and Never Give up Hope"
When did you grasp or define that you have to be a priority?
I discovered early on that I needed to be a priority. I think it was most likely as a teenager I realized that I needed to concentrate on me. I decided that I wanted to better my self and become more independent. As a result, I focused on my strength at the time (academics ) and hard work ( saved all my extra money with my high school job) so that I could work toward my goal of becoming a better me.
How do you adjust when the ups and downs in life arise?
First, I pray and ask for guidance from God. Yes, I may cry, get weak, may doubt myself, and may even shout or scream but eventually, I know that this soon shall pass. Then, I come to a realization that I need time for me and may plan something for me -massage, pedicure, a day at the bookstore reading, etc. And sometimes, I may just say to my family--let's just do something fun and forget about the responsibilities in life. (It also doesn't hurt that I have a very supportive husband that helps me with ups and downs in life).
What's your daily routine and how did having children later in life change your perspective on maintaining a sense of self and what adjustments did you make to still make time for you?
Daily routine-get myself up and ready, get all 3 girls ready for school (clothing, breakfast, & hair). I am responsible for taking 1 of the girls to school and then off to work from 8-5 or so. Pick up girls on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays and typically off to after school commitments such as swim team/dance/gymnastics/tutoring. Get home around 630-645 pm and heat up dinner, homework (715-800 pm), bath times (800-820 pm) and bed by 830 pm for girls. Next, dishes/laundry daily and prepare clothes/backpacks for everyone and dinner for the next day. Weekdays are hard to incorporate a lot of me time as we as a family are VERY BUSY. But typically try to do something for 15 min. And don’t get me wrong there are days when I pass out from exhaustion.
Obviously, having children later in life has a huge impact on my life. As an older parent, I realize I have to continuously make an effort on making time for me. sometimes it may be on the weekends. At times, it may be getting a sitter every other week to go out with my husband or to meet up with friends. Sometimes, it is letting the kids watch a movie while I can read a book. It also may take me getting creative to find “me” time during family outings (such as our plan to go on a cruise in the fall with our 3 kids. The cruise has children camps for ages 2 and up—- win, win!!!. Having children made me realize even more that it is vital for me physically, mentally, and spiritually to take care of me in order to be a better role model and to be the best mom I can be for them. Even though I don’t have a lot of downtimes as I did before getting married or even before having children, I believe the little time that I can take time for me is SO vital. I really try incorporate me time on Fridays as I try to finish up at work by 1-2 pm. Every other Friday I get my hair done. I get monthly pedicures or try to. I also volunteer which is my me time.
What advice would you give women at any age who don't make themselves a priority or struggle with the process of self-love?
Advice— try to incorporate something that you enjoy in your life, be creative with prioritizing yourself, carve out time for yourself ( could be as simple as taking a bubble bath or reading a book for 15 min) and don’t compare yourself to others (this is especially hard with social media). Remember that it is hard for everyone and that we all together are doing this thing called life. Lastly, It is ok to seek support if needed (can be family/friends) to encourage and celebrate you!!!