I thought it was so funny the first time I heard Michael say, “I have to do my things Mommy. I’m busy right now. I can’t talk to you.” But lately I’ve been thinking that when he says these words, there is another side to this conversation. And that side is him navigating our race rate world, a world hard enough for neuro typical people to manage at times. Yet, here he is with his increased anxiety, sensory issues, and intellectual delays trying to make sense of a world where busy means better and useful, and relaxing and taking it easy usually translates to laziness.
Yes, we all say, I need to take it easy, relax, go on vacation, slow down, but how many of us when we actually do this, enjoy that down time? How many of us don’t find other ‘productive ways’ to fill vacation time such as with constant sightseeing, activities to do on site where we vacation? The art of not doing anything has lost its art, is not in vogue. Heck, it’s almost a crime in our succeed or stagnate world! I am one of the recovering busy addicts who actually had to physically burn out before I saw where ‘doing’ things all the time got me. Yes, it got me sick. It gets us all sick. Depression, physical illnesses, drug addictions, all of these are ways that our bodies break down because we are giving them too much work, stress and pressure all of the time.
So what are exceptional children learning about our world, and how are their bodies and minds coping with the constant movement and speed with which human beings have evolved to doing things? This is where technology has been a blessing and a curse all in all. I, for one, am trying to learn to switch off my mind from the frenetic pace of the world and teaching Michael to do the same. He sees me doing yoga, meditation, reading. “Mommy, why do you like to read so much?” He’ll ask me. “Because it’s relaxing Michael. I can sit down and rest from my busy day.” A few times I’ve seen him reading and resting now too. What do they say? “Do as I do.” I also remind myself that it’s not only alright, but necessary to leave the work I need to do behind and veg out sometimes. Recharging my batteries is what will help me and all my family in the long run.
Do you need to slow down in your lives today? I’m sure all of us do. So, remember to take the time to NOT be busy by doing something you love, a hobby, reading, talking a walk, exercising. If you are able to get away on any kind of vacation, cultivate the art of doing nothing and pass it on to your exceptional children. It will be one of the best gifts you can give them, showing them that being still is as necessary as being busy. Until next time.