“When everything shut down in March 2020, I started slashing big Xs on the calendar at the end of every day. It was my way of claiming victory over yet another day stuck at home with a 2 and 5 year-old, and I naively thought that when lockdown would end after 2–3 weeks, those Xs would be the trophy I earned.
But as reality set in and we all understood this pandemic wasn’t temporary, I realized that I could no longer look at my days as if they were something to defeat. I couldn’t go on waiting for the end of the day for months on end; I needed a new way of looking at these empty boxes on the calendar.
Over time, we learned to treat each day like an invitation. Some days, the invitation was to enjoy sunny weather in the Skokie Lagoons; other days, the invitation was to see how many episodes of Peppa Pig it took for our daughter to adopt a British accent (not many, apparently). We became more content with being still, with not knowing where the day would lead us, with forgetting to check what time it was.
And as we emerge from the pandemic, I hope to keep this perspective of finding peace and relaxation in an empty calendar, of our days being a river to wade through instead of an obstacle to overcome.”
Are you also hoping to create a family schedule that is more like a river than an obstacle course? Take a look at this short article with insightful questions from the Parent Wellness Compass Book. Each week through the summer we are inviting families to reflect on their hopes for a “better normal” and sharing these short articles. This week’s feature, “Do we manage our schedule or do our schedules manage us?” points us on a path of getting the right things done rather than just more things done. May God bless your family with new family practices that nurture body, mind, and spirit in this new normal.
God’s Peace, the Rev. Christine V. Hides