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Growing Together - a Family Lifestyle Blog

3 Easy Steps to Get out of Your Life Rut

Time is precious.

It’s easy to get caught up in life and watch the days, even weeks, go by without thinking or skipping a beat. I’m sure you have caught yourself saying, “I can’t believe the year is already half over”, I know I have, it’s something I say every year around this time.

I feel that we get caught up with our lifestyles and what is the next milestone to achieve, big or small. It’s easy to stay concentrated and to get in the rut of thinking and focusing on: how many days until the weekend, work, chores, our screen time, next vacation, what I have do tomorrow, and for those with a social media obsession, what’s new or how many likes or follows can we get.

These are great and can be important but it’s easy to lose focus on what really matters.

Being present with those around you.

I’m guilty of losing sight of being present especially during the work week where everything seems to be like clock work. We wake up, get ourselves ready, go to work, come home, eat, spend a few hours accomplishing our to-do lists, spend a bit of time together, plan tomorrow, go to bed and start all over.

It’s easy to get caught up in this cycle and it’s no wonder why people start thinking about the weekend. It’s something that breaks the cycle. Maybe. Even the weekend can be a rut and something that turns into another activity or task to do, like, Saturday chores, an activity, Sunday Church, rest, plan the week and then go to bed to start the rut all over again.

How do we get out of the rut and keep a focus on what's important?

1. Acknowledge that you are in a rut and that you would like to be refreshed.

Unfortunately, we’re adults and we can’t just get up and live a responsible free life. (Wishful thinking) We have duties that we must do, Kate and I are parents first, which means providing a healthy future for our child and possibly one day children which means, working. We also have other responsibilities other than work, like taking care of the house, being a part of church, building our relationship together, and other miscellaneous things we deem important to us.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, if you have all those responsibilities and things you have to do, wouldn’t that naturally cause what you said “a rut”?” Well, yes, but it’s not bad to be in one, or acknowledge one, it’s what you’re going to do in all the time, whether it’s hours, or minutes, in between your day to day tasks or responsibilities to keep you present.

2. Use Your Time Wisely

Time is the most valuable asset that we have ever been given. None of us know how much time we are given on this planet so why not use it wisely. With everything we have going in our lives, how should we spend our free time to keep us present to things we feel important?

To me, Kate and E are my world and the most important people in my life, so how do I make them feel that with everything else going at light speed around me that I can keep up with both?

I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’m guilty of spending a lot of time on my phone at night when I get home. Checking social media, looking at news, funny videos, or work. Whatever it is, it causes a disconnect from the real life world. What should we do to balance everything important in life and break the rut, get refreshed, and be present in the present?

3. Try New Things to connect with your family (or just with yourself)

Breaking out of the norm and trying something new will surely refresh or day to day routine. Likewise, setting apart a time in your day to just focus on you and your family will help distract your mind from work, from your to-do list, and from those dishes in the sink. Lastly, another way to refresh any human is to spend some time in God's word or some sort of devotional. 20 minutes, all on your own or with your spouse, however you want to swing it. It's easy and can do profound things for your well being.

Here are a few things that Kate and I love to do (that doesn’t involve a screen, mostly).

We LOVE walks! It’s time that we get to spend together all as a family. We’re not on our phones, because for one, I can’t walk and look at my phone at the same time. It’s like trying to drink from a bottle and walk too, it usually ends up in a mess. Walking is a special time that we can talk about our day, brainstorm ideas and talk about personal issues we are seeing or having, laugh and enjoy each others company. Some of our greatest conversations have come from walks.

Getting Creative! We both have an eye for being creative with art. Art was something that we both really connected on, long long before we even “liked” each other. Like back when I was an awkward kid and didn’t know how to talk to people. (I’m still awkward but I embrace it, and it's fantastic). There are times when we just take out some paper, sit in silence and start drawing. I remember a time when we thought it would be a good idea to do each others portraits in like 20 minutes. We laughed, they weren’t too bad but i’m sure we wouldn’t be winning any award with those though.

Playing Music. We also like to play music together. This was more evident when we were first married and without child, but we still mess around on the guitar from time to time. Music is something that Kate and I also connected on at a younger age. We started playing together in our churches praise team and we still do to this day. It’s just a time where we bounce skills and listen to each others talents, and also laugh and talk to each other.

Watch a Movie! Movies are always great. It’s a time that we set aside and be entertained by action packed, kick-butt movies or ones that make us laugh so hard that we have to pause and rewind because we missed something. It’s a time that we can just be us and watching something we can later discuss and or laugh about, usually laugh because we quote the movie for the next day.

Vacations! Vacations are great way to refresh and disconnect from everything in life. We love to go and travel places, whether it’s only for a day or a long weekend, it’s a time we get to do and experience something different together. You can let loose and forget about everything happening back home, laugh, cry, talk and recharge. Kate and I are more prone to take day trips but once and awhile we like to take a long weekend a spend time in a different city. We were just in Stillwater, and I highly recommend it!

One thing, if you didn’t notice from the list above, is laughing and talking. It's something we feel is important to be able to break from the stresses of day to day life. Days can turn into weeks and weeks can turn into months before the even realizing that you were not being intentional about the time spent together because all of life duties and your screen were too important.

Take the time you have to laugh, to cry, to talk and to be present with one another and be intentional with the time that was given to you. Because, time is precious.

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