Do you speak the lingo? Do you wear that badge? The one that when people ask about how life is going and the first response is ”Busy, busy, busy.”

It used to be mine. I wore it well, confidently, practically, courageously. Because that’s the road our world tells us to take to become a “good mama.” And then I crashed and burned with a back injury while body-boarding in Maui, and spent the next six months with my legs propped up 90-degrees on the couch. I had a 20-month-old daughter learning how to function with a mama who would never be able to lift her again.

I had to say no to a lot of things for those six months, and I had to say yes to a lot of outside help. It was humbling and hard and the most beautiful time to evaluate the important things I had committed myself to (or not committed and connected myself to).

I discovered on that hard ground a really clear need to evaluate and express my best “yes” and clear “no” — not my guilty “yes” or not-oft said “no.”

I learned about boundaries and the need to discover my misaligned priorities. I may have just been running myself and my little one ragged as I stared at a calendar that had an excess number of items crossed off because I absolutely couldn’t follow through on a single one of them.

If it wasn’t a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy or a run to the chiropractor or pharmacy, it was slashed by force. It became an all-out war on busyness.

Have you ever had to stare your calendar and your crazy world-spinning in the face, and been forced to take a deep breath, dive into the abyss and start ruthlessly slashing things out? Things that are stealing from family connection, spiritual connections and soul-fueling?

Please don’t wait for a forced recovery time to do it. Maybe God knew I was going to need a longer time for evaluation to really get the memo. I walked out of it a new, less-committed me to be a more committed mom and wife.

What are we training our children to do when they see us over-worked, over-committed and encouraging the same in them? We are continuing the crazy cycle and passing the tragedy of it on as our legacy of crazy.

Live love today. Then only love today. Evaluate how that kind of good “work” is scheduled into your calendar today. There are some necessities to be done, absolutely. But all the rest pale in comparison to good connections in the hearts and home.

Grab hold of what really matters today, in your homes and honed schedules. It’s the hearts that really matter and will last forever. Ask yourself when you lay your head down at night, “Did what I connect my time and hands and heart to today really matter? Did it bring us closer to our family goals of what we really value?”

If not, be ruthless with its removal, and walk away with not one iota of guilt.

Or according to Winne the Pooh, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best something.”

I will leave you with three questions to cover as you evaluate the family fall (and further) calendar:

  1. Am I (or my children) involved in more than 1 activity per season?
  2. Is my family eating dinner together at least 3-4 evenings a week?
  3. Is there scheduled space for me daily? A quiet time, to refuel my soul in a way that makes me a more-whole and well parent (scripture time, sweating time, hobby time, etc.)?

Krystal Irwin is a Douglas County Family contributor and can be reached at

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