Whew, summer has been a wild ride! Between three epic summer family vacations, baseball games/tourneys/trips for two boys, dance competitions, triathlon events and training, continuing education meetings, and busy work schedules that seemed to vary from week to week, it was difficult to keep up. Our next door neighbor doesn't even really believe that we inhabit our home anymore! I know that summer is supposed to be relaxing but it felt far from that at times. With three kids between the ages of 10-13, the sleepy pace of summer with little ones is long gone.
Our schedules had us running from the end of the day of work until bedtime most nights, through the weekend, and very often in different directions with kids to opposite corners of the state. To make matters more difficult, (and perhaps us to slow down in the middle of the mayhem,) my dear 93-year-old grandmother passed away. The silver lining of that experience was that I got to see my cousins who traveled from far away, and, even better, I had the opportunity to deliver the eulogy at her funeral, which was a great honor for me. I wrote all about this in my last blog - check it out here.
On the work front, now that summer is officially over and kids are back in school, the hygiene schedule is humming along MUCH more quietly. The decrease in children, frequency of being interrupted in restorative ops, and general decline in noise and chaos from the fast turnaround of patients has been a blessed turn of events. With the flow change, I feel like my ability to concentrate and produce has improved as well.
"Transitions often make us mourn for the things that are past. With the end of one season though, another new and beautiful opportunity arises."
This shift from summer to school got me thinking....transitions often make us mourn for the things that are past. With the end of one season though, another new and beautiful opportunity arises. While the fevered pace of summer is over, now comes the routine and normalcy of the school year. Every life transition brings with it the need to examine what we have been doing and deciding if we need to change some vital things. Do we need better systems for handling our schedules both personally and professionally? Do we need help in some area to maximize production and joy in the day?
What has been of infinite value throughout the wild summer has been my planner and mapping out the entire week's commitments, appointments, and activities on Sunday to insure that both the important things and small things don't get overlooked. I love to write it down and see it all spread before me. It just looks more conquerable when it is mapped out in black in white in front of me. Then my brain gets to thinking about how to make all the moving parts jive and come together. Some things may be hairy, but if I give myself the heads-up of the planning time a few days in advance, then everything generally comes together cohesively and becomes "figure-out-able" (thanks Marie Forleo for that awesome word and book!).
Another thing I've called myself out on is wishing the chaos away. "When this is all over, I can ____" or "When I'm done with this kid's sports, I'll finally be able to reconnect with my friends." I found that I was robbing myself of all the joy of the activity that I was present at in the moment by doing this continually. AND what's worse is that as quickly as it was gone, I was sad to see it over, and I found myself wishing that I would have taken more joy in the simplicity of it, despite the madness. With my kids in their pre-teens, I know that the next years will be precious and will slip away fast. I want to make sure that I'm not my own worst enemy at capturing and enjoying each valuable second.
Each transition in life looms big and questions us at the switching point...Will we be satisfied that we lived the season out to its fullest, or will we regret our missed opportunities?
One of the most glaring errors where I personally fell short in my schedule was in the day to day connections with my husband. I wholeheartedly believe, yet sometimes forget, that unacceptable regrets are what we want to avoid by proper planning. The foundation of our family is my relationship with my husband, and it’s what will be left when the kids grow up and move away. I need to make this a top priority in my daily life (because family vacay with the kids does not equal quality time with your person) to prevent a drift away from the relationship I wish to have and to model a loving, caring relationship to my children. I now have that as the first thing that will go on my calendar this fall. Do you have anything in, or not in, your schedule that could lead to unacceptable regrets?