February 11, 2015

a reminder for me--busy isn't better

We are running around like chickens with their heads cut off (don't worry, our 4 chickens are still alive and well).

Eric has taught me that you can choose to either multiply and manage or simplify and serve. As much as I dream of simpler days, our life right now has definitely been a time of multiplying and trying to manage, but sometimes not managing very well.

E and I were just talking about how we go through spurts of nothing going on to everything going on. I enjoy being involved and doing things, but we have hit our max and we need to take some things out.

Why have we been so busy?
It's mostly because we have busy kids who are each doing completely different things. Gone are those days when the boys had the same interests and would take swim lessons together or could even take piano lessons on the same day.

Kyler is continuing with piano. On top of that, he decided to join the 5th grade band that meets twice a week before school. He is learning to play the trumpet. He also joined a swim team that practices twice a week. He has scouts once a week. And then he begged to go to a free after school STEM class once a week taught by a Boeing employee. Don't you forget that he is also a 5th grader with homework.

Kacin is also continuing with piano, but has to have his lesson on a different day than Kyler. He is in the school play that rehearses twice a week. He goes to a gymnastics class one night a week. There is cub scouts on another night. And he comes home with more homework than Kyler.

Perry and Layla's schedules are a bit less crazy since their stuff happens during the day. Perry has ABA, speech, or OT therapy every afternoon. Layla has a gymnastics class once a week in the morning. And they both have preschool.

I am probably going the most crazy with all of this out of everyone. Just simply keeping track of everything and picking everyone up at the right time keeps me spinning in circles some days, but let's add in teaching preschool, cleaning my house, and preparing for girls camp. And maybe I'll organize a weekend women's retreat, too. All while trying my best at the day to day of being mom.

Those loads are entirely too big. How did this happen?

It bothers me when everyone is so busy. Our stress levels rise, our tempers flare more easily, our to-do's and schedules rule the day, and we are hardly all home together.

I'm writing this as a reminder to myself to please not let this happen again to our little family! All of these things everyone is doing are good, but probably not all at once. Some things are necessary (therapies), but most are not. Good, better, best. Choose to simplify.

I repeat to myself: do not let everyone get this busy again. busy does not mean better.

I would throw my hands up in the air at everything, but I know that the end is in sight for these busy days. Kacin performs in the play at the beginning of march. Kyler's stem class ends at the end of the month. gymnastics and swim team will come to an end. I won't be teaching preschool next year. It will all wind down soon. Then we will go from too busy to just plain busy.

I've been reading "Mitten Strings for God". I really love this book. The author reminds me of things I already knew, but need to do better at or have forgotten. She's made me think and evaluate, too. It is refreshing and calming. I highly recommend this one.

I agree when she wrote "In simplicity there is freedom--freedom to do less and enjoy more." She says, "Like Thoreau, I love 'a broad margin to my life'--the less packed into a day, the better. Sitting still, I am able to appreciate my life simply because I am taking the time to experience it."

She encourages us to have the "conviction to say 'This is enough' " for our family and not to schedule away creativity and self-reliance because children need time that is entirely their own.

What great reminders to me!

I just hope I have learned.