|Madeleine took this picture at the dedication of a local park (engineering done by Mr. Suite!). And then we rode in the balloon. A Very Good Day.|
For the first two weeks of October we left the flotation devices and life jackets and whatnot accessible. "One more swim" was still possible. Beach books still resided in go bags. Sun tea was even an option because we still had, you know, sunshine.
|Salvador has discovered his pockets. So boy.|
Come to find out I like the NEXT moment a lot better when I enjoy the one I'm IN well.
|The tractor races at Farm Suite's front room always draw a big crowd. Scalewise anyway.|
Our schedules today, as I go on and on about here, are ever-so-Seussian muchly much much more busier than that. (The house it often looks like it was visited by the Cat in the Hat.) On a daily basis our calendar is so full as to give me hiccups if I look toward what is next, or worse, how many/few minutes we have to prepare for "what's next." Algebra, chemistry, literature, ballet, tap, jazz, modern dance, flute lessons, community theatre rehearsals... they all go better with a cup of tea and my full attention. The next will come around in its own time.
And just in case you ever struggle, as I have for years, with how to do that, how to be fully present and still be ready when the agenda switches up, I want to share the logistical, completely non-spiritual tool that has helped me achieve a little bit of peace in apparent chaos.
It's a calendar. In my purse I keep an old-fashioned appointment calendar. I also have it hand "synched" to my phone and kitchen wall and computer calendars. Even though I resisted this system for years, preferring in my fantasies to think I was better unencumbered by such mundane tools, I actually feel much more FREE having it all written down, keyed in, cross-referenced.
My little purse calendar saves the double-booking disasters and saves my life. (We also have a newer launch pad system of dance bags, snack bags and whatnot that I think you can probably imagine better than I, and this is instrumental in the new peace system as well. I might write about that later but I'm not very predictable in the posting. Maybe I should put blogging in my calendar. A-hem.)
Does jazz start at 3:00 or 3:15 on Mondays? Would we be able to pick up an extra child in the carpool next Tuesday? Can we move flute to Friday at 4:00? In five seconds I can answer and I don't have the anxiety that comes with the not knowing, the must-remember-to-check.
When I get an email tweaking rehearsal schedules I transfer the new information to my calendar(s). When the girls get invitations to parties I write the time and contact info in my calendar. When I make my weekly menus I write them in my calendar.
The calendar saves us from the fast-food drive-through, which my kids and wallet dislike strongly, on nights when there's no time to go home for dinner between dance and theatre. I can plan ahead for portable meals for my actors and snacks for the rest of us. I can reasonably tell my dear, patient, already organized since birth engineer husband what time we will be home.
Don't get me wrong: I still struggle with busy-ness. But it seems somewhat manageable this way and I can even feel free to be happily surprised by something as small as a "divine appointment" with a friend at a coffee shop or something as huge as the change of seasons.
Now to go deflate the inner tubes. Because, friends? It's raining outside.