It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that demands our attention. Recently, I found myself hyperventilating whenever I thought about my schedule for the an upcoming week. My wife was in 5 showings of South Pacific, my daughter had dance practice, a dance rehearsal and 2 performances – all of which were taking place Wednesday through Saturday. Just the thought of my evenings being this busy was freaking me out.
Every time I thought about the week my anxiety level would go through the roof. I had to manage my busy week at work, prepare all the meals, ensure homework was done, make sure everyone was where they needed to be – on time, make my appearance at a couple shows and helplessly watch the grass grow as it screamed, “mow me” every time I pulled into the driveway.
Tuesday evening, slouched over with my head in hands, heart beginning to pound and dreading what was to come it suddenly occurred to me. If I take this week one day at a time I can get through this even if that meant not getting to the lawn. So that’s exactly what I did, I took the next few days one stepping stone at a time only giving thought to the next day and not beyond.
As I did this I found my stress level went down and it was much easier to manage everything I had to do. When I was able to ‘X’ out each day on the calendar I looked back and thought, “That wasn’t so bad.” Eventually, Sunday came and I was still standing (to my surprise) I even found time to mow the lawn. Watching my wife and daughter during their performances was a blast and I’m glad I was there to support and help throughout the week.
This is simply another case of living in the here and now. When we focus too far down the road it can cause a lot of unneeded stress. If we treat life’s journey as stepping stones we are focusing on our next step, one at a time. Heck, I only have one wife and one child. I can’t imagine how it is for people with more than one, child that is. However, I think taking life one step at a time is the secret to their success. The further we put ourselves in the future only creates more stress. Will I have enough money to retire? What if I get sick? Will my children grow up happy and successful? What if I lose my job? There are countless “what if” statements you can conjure up and most won’t have an answer. To live in the future leads to worry which will rob you of your present joy. Parent by example and show your child what it means to live in the here and now, taking life one stepping stone at a time.