back to reality or (I hope) how to avoid it

Well, it’s Monday and it’s truly back to reality.  The holidays and vacation are over.  This year they seemed to stretch out forever thanks to a longer than usual break from school, vacation days, and a snowstorm. Winter Storm Hercules.  That was the name given to Friday’s storm.  It left our world covered in a blanket of white and, by Saturday, the sun was glistening off the snow like a thousand diamonds.    The sky was a crystal clear blue; the kind of clear that you can only get on cold winter days and the picture it created was a whitewashed world where anything is possible.  I was ready to move into 2014 holding onto that viewpoint.  Yes 2014 will contain many highs and lows, things that I cannot even imagine right now, but the blank clean slate before me held the magic of possibility.

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But today rain has washed away the snow and the promise of the coldest temperatures in decades has everyone talking.  It is grey and rainy and, like I said, Monday.  The luxury of extra time has passed and we are back into the never-ending cycle of work, school, sports, clubs, lessons, chores, and commitments.  I’m exhausted thinking about it and it makes me wonder if 2014 really does have any chance of being that different.

sled race
sled race

With four kids and two full time jobs, life is busy for our family.  I want my kids to be involved and grow and experience new things.  But it’s a fine line between activity and just busyness.  I never know where to land on that line.  It’s not even really the activities in themselves, but the fact that having such a tight schedule and running from one thing to the next allows no time for life to really be lived.   Life just moves forward as we follow the same path day after day.  Mundane and unremarkable.

There is no room for the unexpected in a completely scheduled life!  And that scares me like nothing else.

Now I’m not saying that every day should be or will be filled with excitement, adventure, and non-stop fun.  First of all, that would probably become exhausting, and, secondly, there is a need for homework and jobs and commitments.  But, I just worry that it is all that our life has become.  Some people dream of their children becoming great at sports or intellectual, but I dream of my kids really experiencing life and all that it has to offer; unafraid of the unknown.  Because then they will have the courage and understanding to be who God truly wants them to be.

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So, I told my husband that I want to quit our jobs, sell our house and most everything in it and spend 6 months traveling across all 50 (well, 48 at least) states just experiencing the country.  We could stay with friends and family a couple of days at a time or camp.  I would home school them so they wouldn’t fall behind.   We could leave at the end of June and be home, wherever we ultimately decided that would be, by Christmas.  We could write and photograph each step of the way!  I had it all figured out!

My husband, like most sane people, wasn’t into the idea.

I guess we’re staying here.  But it made me realize that I do need to be more proactive this year in taking the time each week, each day, for the unexpected.  To carve out adventure time no matter how small.  If we are open to what comes our way each day, the unexpected and unplanned, then we will experience more of life and the world around us.  It’s hard because when you do have a day, or your life, planned out, any change can be frustrating.  But, I think that being open to that change and where it takes you will ultimately bring about growth and some sort of adventure.  At least a place to look back in the week and say, well, that was different.

Looking up from my schedule and busyness will also allow me to notice those around me.  Notice those who may be hurting or need help or a friend.  Less of me and my schedule and more of others.

SONY DSC

So, this year I am going to look for those times that we can add adventure and excitement into our busy, often boring schedule.  It most likely won’t be life changing (no selling the house for a road trip) but I hope in small ways it will change our family as we realize what and who is out there!

Do you struggle with this too?  The balance of schedule vs just living life?  Being so busy that you don’t notice anyone else?  If so, what do you do to combat it? (If you know a way I can convince my husband of a road trip, let me know that too!)

Let me know if you, like me, hope to change things up this year and, if so, how!

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