For the next several weeks I want to identify the marks of the hurried and often run over family. In fact, Tim Kimmel of Family Life identifies seven marks of a family that is overstressed. They are hectic! As we look at them, perhaps we will see a bit of ourselves!
The first mark of the hurried family is that they cannot relax. Industry is good, but industry without some margin wears you down. You know that feeling, don’t you? You are involved in everything. You are connected to those things by that gadget that beaps, vibrates, or rings to let you know when you are about to miss something. It is always activity, activity, activity. There never seems to be a time to let up. In fact, you feel guilty when you stop.
There is a real consequence to this type of living: you can’t relax even when you try. Consider this scenario – The Industries (that’s the name of this family) are planning to the beach for some time away from the race. Sounds good, right? However, Dad brings his iPhone so he can stay in touch with work and answer emails, Mom brings three projects that she just needs to get done for the next meeting she is attending, Junior brings his laptop so that he can work on the Boy Scout project, and Sister has her 4-H scrap book along with all of her pictures and stamps.
Do these people sound like they have put down their busyness to relax? Can they relax? Is this you or me? Let me prescribe a test – how do you feel when you are not doing anything? Guilty? Do you get that nervous twitch that says you just gotta be doing something?
There is nothing wrong with being productive. Yet, when we never let our hair down and relax as a family there is no room for talking. There is no room for sharing. We miss one another. So, for you Industries – plan times when you unplug. My family has a Tuesday technology free night. We talk. We play board games. We relax. It isn’t perfect, but it is a start!
Here’s to families,