For the first time that I am aware of, our Summer season has been chock full of things to do and people to see. I don’t just mean a little busy, I mean “Christmas busy.” Since the moment school let out, we have had a never ending stream of get togethers and events, friends and family to visit, and an ongoing “To Do” list. What gives?! Most of these things are really good things, and our schedule has been full but it’s been full of good stuff. But a too full schedule wears on a person; it wears on the whole family. God, in his infinite wisdom, has given us a pattern–a mandate–for rest, because He knew that His way is The Best Way. God knows that if we work continuously, there will be consequences. In other words: Take a break, girl!! But is it that easy? Why does finding time to relax as a family sometimes seem as difficult as a college calculus problem? Perhaps it’s because “finding time” is nearly impossible. Making time is what we are going to have to do to make sure that our family gets a break. It seems I have been living by this motto a lot lately:
“If it doesn’t go on the calendar, it isn’t going to happen!”
It’s true. We can talk about getting together with a friend some day but it we don’t pick a day it’s not going to happen. The same is true for our family day off. If it doesn’t go on the calendar – it’s not going to happen. Instead, things will continue to fill the little spaces on the calendar left and right like little breeding calendar rabbits. Even if what is filling up your weekends are fun things like holiday gatherings and time with friends, your family is going to eventually need a day without any plans to go anywhere at all. Your family needs a day to just be together, a day with no particular commitments. And ironically, you are going to make a commitment free Saturday by making that commitment on the calendar. It’s easy enough once you realize what you need to do.
Step One: Pull out the calendar.
Step Two: Find the closest open Saturday (or one that you can clear.)
Step Three: Circle the whole thing. Label it “FAMILY DAY OFF,” or as we call it “STAY HOME DAY,” or maybe even “PLAN SOMETHING HERE AND YOU WILL REGRET IT.”
Step Four (the only difficult step): Protect that Day Off like a Mama Bear protecting her cubs!
I know,. . . this isn’t rocket science. I’m not the first person to tell you to plan breaks into your schedule. But I am here to remind you they don’t often happen by themselves. In a busy season, you will have to make it happen. You will need to choose a day in advance and then guard it against all the great and wonderful and fun things that will come along and try to embed themselves on that calendar day. You’ll have to be ninja mom, blocking and deflecting every invitation and favor request. You make it happen. And when that day arrives? You spend it with your family, with no obligations and no commitments. No time constraints. Shucks, you might even unplug from the phones and tablets! Watch movies together, play games together, play outside together, or cook together. Or if you feel like it, chill out in your pj’s together and have a pj day. We need these breaks together. It’s not that seeing other family members, or attending a baby shower, or going to the lake with friends is bad — it’s not! But it’s busy. And while we are advised to rest from work every week, I think we also need to take periodic breaks from “busy.” And that only happens, when we make it happen. Are you adrift in a sea of busy? Pull out your calendar, find the closest suitable day, and circle it, or draw a big X through it so you can’t plan anything there, or fill the entire square with the words “FAMILY TIME.” You can do it! Image Credit: Public Domain, Alex Grichenko