I’m late, I’m late!
For a very important date!
No time to say hello! Good-bye!
I’m late! I’m late, I'm late!
-The Mad Hatter from Alice and Wonderland
Like the Mad Hatter, we often rush through our days and our lives, not pausing to "say hello or good-bye." There is always something urgent to do, always another errand to run, always the interminable to-do list. And if we have children, there is the picking up and dropping off, meals, lessons, playdates, homework, bath time, and story time.
Yet the most important time, with our family, friends and with ourselves, the quality time where we slow down and just be, often comes last. We tell ourselves we will take the time to meditate or go for a walk or just hang out or talk or cuddle AFTER we do.... ( fill in the blank.).
Yet if we really think about it, what could be more important than really connecting with ourselves and others? What is more urgent than time to simply be- whether it's time to meditate, take a walk, sit in the garden, drink a cup of tea alone or with a friend or beloved? What is more important with your child than to play a game or talk or be silly together?
What "really important date" can't wait? What truly matters? What thing that needs to be done could possibly be more important than quiet time, or shared time or fun time or contemplative time, where time and the to-do list ceases to matter, at least for a while.....
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley