Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

I don’t know the meaning of life necessarily, but I do know that the purpose of life is not to be busy. People brag about how little time they have; they overschedule and overextend themselves to the point where they have no time to breathe. We’re guilty of it, too – of putting so much on the calendar that we can’t squeeze in a simple date or time out with friends.

Our lives seem to get busier and busier as each day passes us by. Between running a household and planning meals for 8, running and growing a business, children and grandchildren, household chores, and more, who has time to just breathe? Having a three-generation family that includes four adults, two teens, and two young children at home and finding ways to balance the needs of the family with the needs of each individual can be exhausting.

There are some days where all we are doing is hanging on for dear life from the minute we wake up until the minute we head back to our bedroom, look at each other, and say, “WTF?!” But we do try to do things to minimize being busy for busy’s sake.

  • We say no. While we make it a rule to say yes to our kids if we have no reason not to, we do say no often.
  • We use the calendar to book time off – whether it’s a night away for Dave and I, a dinner out with friends, or a concert, we get it on the books.
  • We don’t fret in those moments where there is nothing to do. We rejoice. I don’t feel guilty for playing Candy Crush for 20 minutes because it resets my brain from the long, non-stop workday to the evening.
  • We stop and breathe in the moments – moments with our kids and grandkids, moments that we know are so fleeting.
  • We take advantage of every opportunity to travel, play, see concerts, play board games, and spend time with friends.

We aren’t getting it perfect right now – we’re a little overwhelmed with our household structure and the demands it has placed on us, our time, and our finances. But we know this is also fleeting, and that within a year, everything will be different. Louis and Kira will take our grandbabies and move to England, Anika will leave for college. So we grab on to each day and enjoy the ride, seeking balance wherever we can.