I believe it was Mae West who said that too much of a good thing is—wonderful! While it may make us smile to think about the possibility of indulging without consequences, part of successful living is finding our own personal brake pedal.
Because working brings such desirable consequences, it may be the last place we identify as being out of balance in our lives. It may have become “too much,” even if we love the work we are doing. For many, work is brought home, and even when they are at home, they are not fully there, always tuned in to a tablet or phone. The whole idea of a Sabbath seems to be undervalued as we have become accustomed to business 24/7.
For a family or a relationship to thrive, there is no substitute for presence, being “all there.” We need to pay attention to one another. For children, love is spelled T-I-M-E. No words or gifts can build strong family bonds like playing together. Sometimes couples and families come to therapy, seeming to have lost connection with one another, living parallel lives in the same home. Building on the strength of memories of good times together can begin the work of reconnecting. Insight plus desire for closeness really can make the difference, even in families long estranged. Learning to interact again is sometimes helped by a trip together, without the distractions of work and daily life.
The holidays are there to help us remember to brake in the midst of the busyness of our lives and create spaces for leisure and cessation of work. Memorial Day gives us a chance to stop and celebrate the lives that have gone before us as well as nurturing our own.