We need a slower pace.
To experience a lifelong marriage filled with refreshing time margins and deep intimacy, you must understand the cause of your busyness as well as the consequences. It’s easy to simply cast blame on busyness without looking within your own heart to see why you might be so busy. To help me (Jim) escape busyness, I regularly ask myself three questions:
Is the pace of my life really sustainable over a long period of time?
Do I like the person I’m becoming as a result of the pace I keep?
Am I giving Cathy and my family my best during this season?
When I’m busy, the answers to these questions are always no, no, and no! While I’m often tempted to move to a deserted island to escape everything, I’m fully aware that a quick fix isn’t a good solution. The long-term answer always tells me to notice the warning lights of busyness, learn from my past mistakes, and make choices that will result in a better, stronger, and healthier Jim.
When I reflect on some of my previous bouts with busyness, I can see that I wasn’t willing to make the difficult decisions to unclutter my life so that I could have more time for my primary relationships. The warning lights were working; I just didn’t give them the attention they deserved. The warning lights of busyness are fairly obvious. Here are the ones Doug and I have seen in our own lives as well as in the lives of couples we’ve counseled.