We made it through the first two weeks of school unscathed. Nobody got on the wrong bus or forget their lunch. The first few homework assignments have been shuttled back and forth successfully. We seem to be settling into something of a routine. Still, the next few months seem daunting to me. My younger boys, now eight and eleven, have busy soccer schedules that will keep us going seven days a week. Squeezing in work around school open houses, games, practices, and the bare minimum of housework seems to fill in any gaps there may be in my schedule. I also need to keep my daughter, now a senior in high school on task with the college application process. Everything is fine. Everyone is happy. So what is this slight feeling of, well, dread I feel about the next few months. Last night after the school open house I tried to set up a “play date” for my son Christian. He had been asking for Knox to come over on a Saturday. When Knox’s mom and I attempted to do this, she jokingly said, “what are you doing the first weekend next May?”
Maybe this is why we keep ourselves so busy. It takes a lot of courage to look at the isolated culture we’ve created for ourselves.
Sitting mindfully with these feelings of being a prisoner of my schedule, I see that there is a longing to be still. I want to run out of my office this minute and sit under a tree and just simply be aware of the fall color that is emerging. I want to cancel all my appointments and meet my boys at the bus. The is my heart’s true desire – and it’s a little painful. Maybe this is why we keep ourselves so busy. It takes a lot of courage to look at the isolated culture we’ve created for ourselves. If you even have a choice to take a day off, you may find yourself alone in your neighborhood. If your child isn’t on that soccer, team, chances are there are no other children who have unscheduled time.
We just go with the flow, get swept up by the sign-ups and the pressure to make sure our kids don’t miss one single opportunity. But if we don’t apply mindfulness to the expectations our culture has set up for us, where will it lead us? Where will it lead our kids? I yearn to be a radical and pull my kids out of soccer, and have them practice yoga and meditation every day. Knowing this idea probably wont fly with my family, I instead look for inspiration all around me every day, to practice mindfulness in small but important ways.
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We wish you twenty minutes of peace every day!