Monday, June 6, 2011

How to be Together.



Our family is busy this summer.

Just to say "busy"...  well...that's an understatement.

Those of you who know us well know that Michael and I stay busy much of the time.  I'm not sure how other people don't pack their lives full of activities, but I know that they don't.  I also know that if we stopped doing many of the things we're doing we would both be depressed and dis-impassioned, and I don't think it's worth it.

We have taken on the mantra that if we don't WANT to do it, then we don't do it.  I'm sure that seems simple for some of you, but for us, it really isn't!  We don't like to disappoint people, so it's hard for us to say no.  We've taken to working hard to THINK long and hard before we say yes to anything, and if WE don't WANT to, we say no.

I realize that this goes against many of our teachings as children.  We are taught to please people, it's how we make it through school and function well in the workplace - but for our personal and social lives, we must learn to say no - and such is also the case in the workplace and ought to be the case at school - we need to be empowered to say NO.

In light of our busy-ness and myriad of activities (I admit this summer is the most booked we've ever been...well...since I was working full time at a traditional job...), we're trying to work harder on being together as a family when it counts.  When we HAVE the time.

This means saying yes to the kids even more often than before - just to get the time.  We got a "baby pool" with a slide the other day for thirty bucks so we would have more things to do at home on super hot days.  We've set aside a weekend for our EOSYCT (End of School Year Camping Trip) and everyone is excited (yes, I realize my children don't go to school, but the tradition remains).  We're honing in on the kids' interests and working to come alongside them while they practice...  and so far, things are flowing. 

The crazy of our schedules is helping me to slow DOWN in my parenting.  Which means that instead of getting angry, I'm taking more pictures.



This isn't to say I have all the answers - or to say that being insanely busy is the best thing for any family.  I am saying that it's something we're working on.  BEING together.  Taking advantage of all the moments we're given with our children.  It's something I've got to focus on this summer, or we're not going to survive intact.  We'll lose something much too big to sacrifice.

4 comments:

sunshineradical said...

You guys are awesome. I'm glad you're caught up in a whirlwind of adventure, as usual. =)

Missy said...

I'm so glad you read this :D You'll have to let me know how things are going at the Pancake once you get there :)

Brian F said...

I think there are two different concepts that are at question here.

The first, what do I personally choose to do. What do I say "yes" too, and what do I say "no" to given my constraints and priorities. This seems to be largely how the family time is prioritized. Ie, say no to the non important stuff, and yes to more of the family time. This is huge and makes a lot of sense.

The second area though is more abstract. How long can you choose to simply say "no" to cleaning the toilet? A week, two, a month, two - before it becomes a toxic hazard? Work and school seem to fall into this category as well.

I can choose where I work. I can negotiate how many days, how many hours, and the location (from home, the office), etc. If, though, my boss comes to me and says I need you to do "x", I can't simply say "no." I can say, I don't have time, or what priorities do you want me to change, etc. But simply saying no, isn't going to fly.

School is even tougher. In a traditional setting, you can say "no", or more simply just not do the assigned work, and receive the consequences - you can fail, or get a grade that is below your capability. But, taken to far, you become seen as uncooperative, and combative and end up visiting with the Principal.

In the end, there is only choice and consequence. Keep exploring

Missy said...

:)

There comes a point at which, having a clean toilet is something I really do want :) And so I clean it.

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