House Beautiful

Wise Words

Arianna Huffington

-Arianna Huffington, by way of

Wow.  Uh… yeah, that one strikes a chord.

According to a 2008 report, when asked what was important to them, 68% of Americans said “having free time.” THEN “having children” at 62% THEN “having a successful career” at 59%. So why don’t we as Americans allow ourselves that free time we so want and so need?

I am 1000% guilty.  I’m constantly in a state of motion, and not just physically. I’m always thinking of what’s to be done, what to do better, what to do faster. My brain is a compartmentalized machine always tracking things I can be doing.

Even as I write this, I’m watching the clock on my computer as it’s time to go to work.  Time to dive headfirst into the day and into the job that’ll take me mentally and physically to another place for the next 10 hours today.

I’m only in my mid-30s (cough), but already I’m looking back at my 14 year career which has whizzed by me, but more importantly at my LIFE, which is flying by so fast that I’m starting to notice that my memories now dominate my mind rather than the excited thoughts of what’s to come.

Pretty soon, as my wonderful uncle told me last summer, I will wake up and I will be his age (late 50s).  And according to him, it’ll literally seem to happy overnight. 

Something’s gotta change… not sure what, but at least I’m conscious of this… right?

Anyone feel the same? Anyone have advice on how to slow down enough to create some space in your mind? In your life? Please, do tell!


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19 Responses to “Wise Words”

  • Love this post girl. Uncle Frank was right, and I totally feel the same way… even when I get home from work at night, I feel guilty if I’m not busting a$$ on 1,000,000 other things besides work. Who was it that said it?? I think I posted it a few months ago: “The days are long, but the years are short.”

    YIKES! Probably best to cram as many Palm Springs / girls weekends in as possible 🙂

    • Wabbit I am right there with you. We just need to get better about feeling a-ok about taking the few hours we have at the end of the day to decompress… And staying off our darn phones from 8:30 on (whoops)

  • Hear, hear. Been there, am there, don’t want to stay there. I think meditation is one of the keys to getting out of this mental space. I have to admit that I haven’t successfully managed that yet either. Sigh. I have faith that I’ll make it happen. And y’all will, too.

    • Ok Kristine, it’s crazy that you’re saying that. I recently learned about “active meditation” thru my friend who’s a breathing expert. Look her up – Dr. Belisa Vranich – she just wrote a book as well. The handful of times I’ve done it I’ve felt such peace… like I’m floating. It’s so good for you. I gotta do it more often. xoxo

  • Live in the moment and enjoy each one! They call the present a gift because it is!!

  • I feel the same way and have been trying to figure out a way to reconcile the feeling that I need to always be pushing, thinking, do-ing…..with the need to relax a bit, have more FUN. Isn’t it funny how sometimes doing “nothing” is more uncomfortable mentally than just continuing on full steam ahead (as unsustainable as that is….) since we are so hard wired to always being doing something? Thanks for being so honest & sharing this struggle with your readers!

    • Megan, totally! We are all so wired. When you think about it, we’re now programmed to check our phones and computers every minute of the day. Seeing if someone emailed or texted us is a habit I’m sure 85% of us now have. When we check our emails/texts/Instagram/Facebook/Twitter our addicted brain is getting the temporary satisfaction. It’s being stimulated. Do that all day and well…. your brain is whizzing at night, and no wonder we can’t get to sleep (at least I sometimes can’t!).

  • You can’t wait for your down time. You have to make it happen.
    I know my 30’s and 40’s flew by but in such
    A memorable way. I am in two places now. I have
    A awesome future to look forward to everyday
    And a awesome past to reminisce on. My advice
    Is do everything that you want to accomplish and
    Realize only you can make it happen☺️

  • I totally relate to this! It has been such an adjustment going from non stop normal pace of life to the drastic shift of maternity leave. Neither had much free time but this allows for much more reflection on priorities going forward. Pondering all the same questions. THanks for the post lovely!

  • You need to move to France. My brother just casually told me that he won’t be in Paris when I’m there this summer because he is going on (paid) vacation for 5 weeks!

    • Don’t get me started on the Europeans. They are geniuses! They disappear in the summer and have zero qualms about it. I salute them.

  • Didn’t that same uncle mention something about residual income and concentrating on optimizing your online presence so that you are not chained to your job for the rest of your life……..?

  • yes yes… we all need to slow down and be more selfish with our time. its helpful to just read this post and be more thoughtful about it!

  • Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. I’m close to the Beeg 6-0 & occasionally remind myself to downshift. My 30s still feel so close, like I could hug them. This thing called Your Life really does fly at Mach II and, babies, it picks up speed as you get older. Take all your vac days w/o apology. Guilt is fattening and a waste of time. And, if you just can’t get away, meditation is like a long weekend for your brain. 🙂

  • Thanks, JB from Jersey. I always, always appreciate perspective from someone with a couple more years of life under their belt. And you’re the upteenth person to suggest meditation. I gotta make it a habit, I really do. xoxoxo, Karrie

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