I don’t want to be here. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE all of you readers out there, but my brain is still stuck in beach-mode.
10 glorious days of vacation.
a little house in the woods on a lake.
3 little ones in swimsuits with bronze skin and sandy feet.
going to bed late and sleeping in.
bouquets of wildflowers picked by sweaty, eager little hands.
popcorn for lunch.
long hikes on worn paths.
even the mosquito bites weren’t that bad!
And one of the most relaxing, freeing parts? Less than 15 minutes on facebook all week and only occasionally checking some of my favorite blogs from my kindle just before bed.
Before we left for vacation, we were near melt-down stage. Countless long hours at work for Rusty had taken their toll on all 5 of us and we couldn’t get out of Dodge fast enough. Quite frankly, we couldn’t wait just to eat 3 meals together! We just wanted to be together in the same room long enough to finish a conversation before passing out in exhaustion or getting distracted by the piles of laundry and dishes that seemed to multiply like rabbits. We needed this vacation, and more than anything, we needed to SLOW DOWN.
Too often we find ourselves sitting down in front of the computer – “to relax” – we tell ourselves. Funny. I didn’t miss facebook at all. I only checked email in the once in the morning and sometimes at night. And it felt WONDERFUL.
Gretchen has been writing some wonderfully encouraging articles on Simplicity lately, and it’s amazing how un-simple technology can be. I also didn’t realize how un-relaxing it was until I found myself consciously doing other things and not defaulting to my slew of facebook “friends” and favorite blogs to pacify my need to unwind.
So, much to my children’s chagrin, we are making some Simple Mid-Year’s Resolutions:
-Less Internet. Period. We don’t need it. I have a handful of blogs that I enjoy reading, and of course I’ll be here at Vintage Kids writing each week. However, during the day (and especially once our home school year starts back up) the screen will be off more than it’s on. I don’t have parameters yet (give me a break, I just got back from vacation) but I know it needs to happen.
-Less TV. This is where the kids are less than thrilled. I never though we watched much, but that “not much” has grown to “too much“, especially as school ended and I found myself doing more photography work and I needed a virtual babysitter. We did let the kids watch some morning cartoons over vacation during a rainy morning, but all in all, we were outside simply enjoying one another and the fresh air and sunshine. So the upside to our Resolution? They’re still in vacation mode as well, so today when they asked for Dora, I pointed them to the backyard and off they went.
-More family walks. Even during Rusty’s busiest times at work (sometimes pushing 60+ hours a week), with little exception, we ate dinner together. We’ve committed to doing this as a time to connect and talk as a family and unless Rusty is working exceptionally late, we’ll wait and eat together (even if it means an extra little snack to keep the natives from mutiny). However, the first thing to go once our schedules got busy was a family walk. Just a stroll down by the river or around the neighborhood. Not to say that we did these regularly, but lately, we weren’t doing them at ALL. We got back in the habit while on vacation and we realized how much we missed it – just being together, sometimes not even talking. Just being together. Again, I have no idea what this will look like and how often we’ll be able to get out of the house. We just know that it needs to happen.
-Going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Oh, how I don’t want to add this to the list of Resolutions, but it’s also a habit that I know needs to happen. I’ve been completely inspired by this post and need to take the first step in recognizing my problem: [ahem] “I am a self-proclaimed night-owl”. There. It’s public knowledge now. Currently I only get up in the morning because I am greeted by those adorably kissable chubby cheeks of my son as he screams bloody murder to be released from the prison of his crib. We’ve re-arranged some nap schedules and sleep schedules, so now that he is (starting) to sleep later, I find myself doing the same thing… Funny, the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again, hoping for different results. I’ve been staying up late, grudgingly waking up with the delightful coos blood-curdling pleas of my youngest, assuming that I can somehow achieve a peaceful morning in which I can get everything done and breakfast on the table at a decent time. It’s not happening. My oldest is almost 7. It hasn’t been working for a long time but genius that I am, I keep assuming that it will get better. So all that to say, we’re re-assessing schedules – for working, cleaning, homeschooling, my photography studio, Cheeky Bums Blog and Market and for some precious hours of sleeping. It’s in the works, so once the kinks are smoothed out, I’ll let you know how it goes.
And that’s it. Honestly, that’s all I can handle as far as the complete over-haul of my life goes. We needed this family vacation to step back and see what was off-kilter. We were able to unwind, reconnect and assess…and now for the hard part…coming back to reality (the one where I don’t spend the entire day at the beach) and fixing the kinks and adjusting to what we know will be the best things for our family (and our sanity!).
What about you? How do you survive the busy times? Have you made any changes to your routine? How do you re-charge and get a second wind?