Setting the Pace

The other night my husband came home and looked around the house. He then looked up at me and told me he was proud of me.

Was it the beautifully set table with a homemade meal that made him proud?

Or, was it the immaculate house?

Or, maybe it was the happy state of the children?

No, it was none of these things.

It was the fact that the house was a mess. It looked lived-in. The funny thing is, I was proud of myself too. It meant that I had focused on all of the right things that day. I had set the right pace for my family.

It reminded me of a post I wrote and never published. I wrote it before Baby Girl was born. Maybe I knew that I'd need the reminder all the more as we adjusted to life as a family of five.

Here it is:

I used to run several different road races, usually 5Ks and the occasional 10K. I'm a bit competitive when it comes to running (well, at least I was when I actually ran). I was always looking to better my time. I always liked it when the race included pacesetters. These runners carried a sign with them telling what pace they'd be running. I usually tried to be somewhere near the seven-minute-per-mile pace, probably something I'll never see again, but I digress.

I've learned that I'm the pacesetter for my family. I've also learned that I strive for a sub-seven-minute mile while my family is more interested in hanging with the walkers. This means that my efforts to have everyone fed, dressed, and ready for the day by dawn, aren't really very appreciated.

So, I'm realizing that while there is nothing wrong with getting a head start on the day and trying stay on top of things, I need to stop and take a look and see if my family is with me. They usually aren't. I typically lose them somewhere behind a hill of laundry or an impossible to-do list. They want to stop and take in the scenery. I usually miss the scenery as my eyes are set on the goal, always the goal.

I suppose I could demand that they train harder, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they aren't the ones that are missing anything. We are blessed that our life has so few demands outside of home right now. There really is rarely a reason to be in a rush. I know the time will come when we do need to pick up the pace. I suppose it is my job to equip both myself and my family with the skills to run faster when needed, but to know that it is more than okay to stop and savor the blessings of life.

I'm slowly, very slowly, learning to find balance in this area of my life. Maybe one day I'll even find the courage to throw away my running shoes and permanently replace them with some walking shoes.


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Well said! I confess that my current pace is somewhere between standing still and turtle. But hey, my kids like spending the day in there pjs. That makes it ok, right? = )

Lisa said...

So true! I am reading 'Having a Mary Heart in A Martha World' and it's all about slowing down and focusing in on what matters--just like your post.
You are on the right track with or without the running shoes ;)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

FABULOUS post. And great analogy.

I'm always running ahead of my kids. (Or should I say dancing, since I used to teach a dance aerobics class?) Either way, I know it's not good. I want to change. But it's a struggle! This push toward doing instead of being must be in my DNA.

Thanks for the reminder.

HRH said...

That was amazingly thoughtful and very true. And I am just in awe of anyone who can THINK back to running that fast....

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home said...

Oh, I relate to you so much. I tend to just plow through the day, while my sweet little girl wants to just play and be silly and enjoy special time with mommy. I need to stop and just enjoy- forgetting that ever present goal in my mind. Thanks for a great reminder.

And no wonder you haven't been by my site lately- you've been busy enjoying your sweet baby girl! Congratulations!