Such a beautiful thing to those of us that have been deprived of it for what feels like months. I am sitting at soccer practice, listening to the birds and young men discussing blocking and kicks, and trying to settle my head that is going so quickly today. I think the sun is a motivator, but with less on my plate these days, I struggle with what to do with my time. I find myself repeatedly checking email, the website and the blog for updates. This is an old habit from when I was working outside the house, and always trying to stay on top of the hundreds of emails that came in – it was much easier to do them in small chunks than to try and tackle a ton of them at once.
I have committed to slowing down, but my Type A personality is struggling a bit, which leads to my head spinning at times. My head wants more and more, but as I do that, I find myself more tired, and in bed by 8:30. Yesterday, when I did my best to stay less “working” busy, and doing more things for my family and myself, I ended the day relaxed, watching a little TV, and settled at the end of the day.
I am finding that as I work to switch gears to a slower pace, that our life, at least here in the U.S., does no lend itself to peace and quiet. Even when I wake up to a day of belief of peace, and what I think will be a day of simple tasks, life pushes into my universe and I find myself living in my minivan, driving back and forth running errands and doing kid drop offs. When I look back at the end of the day, I can see that I allowed the running around to take over my day.
I allowed it. It didn’t just happen to me.
I think that is the best way to describe how I got to where I was last year. I am fairly agreeable, and when things come into my path that I can do, I am happy to take that on – projects, extra help, additional tasks – you name it, I was happy to take it on.
At the expense of myself. And my family.
Now I find myself carefully looking at additional things that come to me and think about them first. Do I take that on? Do we need to do that this week? This month?
I have also started looking at all of our schedules, and paring those back as well. Taking a break from some of the running and extra activities for the summer. Funny, when I think back to my summer break as a kid, I wasn’t scheduled to be somewhere, or with someone, every day. I was told to go outside and play. Period.
For some reason, my children have the impression that they should be entertained – going to be a change for them as well. Figuring out ways to entertain ourselves, and finding fun in the things we have, or can already do, will be an interesting experiment for them. How many of us could stock Toys-R-us with what we have in our house, and we are already hearing “I’m bored!” I think tennis balls, Frisbees and bike rides are going to be the focus of fun this year. Kids certainly do their best to work it though; the best one so far has been “Mom, can we go somewhere special today as a family?” That is code for “Can we go somewhere and spend a hundred bucks so you can entertain us?”
The translation is the problem.
I envy my friends that explore new parks and create new projects for their kids. I love that there are so many options of things to do, if only we spend a few minutes looking for them. And then it is the trick of detaching from the electronics to go and do the new fun things. We have started a list of new adventures for the summer. If anyone has any suggestions, let’s get them listed on the Mackall Family Journey Facebook page for people to reference. I think everyone can benefit from suggestions for inexpensive fun for the summer.