Monday will be our first day back to school since Mack (our elf on the shelf) told us Christmas vacation had begun.
As I helped Mack write this note I got so excited thinking about all of the fun that was in store for us over our break. Christmas PJs, cookies, movies, ugly sweaters, and Christmas lights were coming our way!
But, now it’s January…the cookies have been eaten, the decorations stored away, the presents opened, and it is time for school to resume.
Every January I struggle with feeling disappointed and blah. My favorite time of the year has ended. Although I honestly delight in a New Year….New Beginning, I have to work at getting back into the seemingly mundane tasks of my normal life with a glass half full perspective.
We have been immersed in family life, enjoying every second of having Andy home with us for 10 days straight. We played. We laughed. We hung out with friends. But, tomorrow Andy will head back to work, and so will we.
Time to ring the bell.
School is back in session.
What’s interesting is that although I have (officially) homeschooled for 5 years, every time we take a break I am a little anxious to begin again. It’s almost like I have forgotten our routine, our schedule, even how to teach!
I have to remind myself that it’s like riding a bike, after a few hours, days, sometimes weeks we get back into our groove and our schooling is once again part of our normal routine.
I was thinking this weekend about how I am dreading school beginning. How I am struggling with heading back into the “normalcy” of life. Suddenly I remembered some very wise counsel Andy had given me.
A few years ago we snuck in a lunch date, and while we were there we began to discuss the fact that he was heading into a busy travel season. I have always struggled with this because we miss him, and also it means the bulk of our home life will be on my shoulders. As we talked and I shared how difficult it can be when it’s day after day of the same thing, he told me that I needed to put some things on the calendar to look forward to. As I began to process what he had said, ideas began to formulate, along with excitement! I went home and ordered some Disney movie classics like The Nutty Professor, The Parent Trap, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, to name a few. We would reserve these movies for nights that Andy had to be gone. Also, the kids got to take a turn spending the night with me in my room, one on one. Recently, on a night Andy was working late, Drew was at Quiz Club, and the littles were asleep, Knox and I watched Cupcake Wars and when it ended he mentioned that he wished he could create a cupcake, so you know what? We did! (If you are a mom reading this and you begin to get an inkling of mom guilt…don’t! Normally I am too tired to even entertain an idea like that. :)) There have been other fun activities that have naturally developed, and it has given us something to look forward to instead of just dreading being apart from Andy.
I remembered this piece of advice as my mind was gearing up for school, and I knew I needed to combat my January blues by putting things on our calendar to look forward to. The perfect time to implement this is during our first week back to school. Something else I have to consider is that I am not the only one who may be disappointed that this season is over. I am not expecting to hear shouts of joy as the boys pull out their forgotten math books or words of gratitude when they dig out their pencils that have enjoyed a nice LONG break.
We all need something to look forward to.
There are little actions I can take to transform the mundane into delight.
Tomorrow my kids will come downstairs greeted with a mug of hot chocolate with their choice of whipped cream or marshmallows. 🙂
Instead of immediately delving into their usual assignments, I came across some unfinished projects while cleaning out the schoolroom, and the kids will be thrilled to begin with these, as opposed to their usual work. I also discovered some Narnia postcards that had been stashed away and so each of them will choose someone they would like to send a note to.
Since one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is reading aloud with Drew, Knox, Davis and Ellis squished on the couch with me, I pulled out some familiar, favorite, and unread books for us to enjoy.
Other ideas for tomorrow and this week are beginning to take shape.
It takes this seemingly humdrum week and turns it into something special. Time that I will anticipate, instead of dread.
In that same way, beginning my day in the bible takes the mundane and turns it into something significant, different, exceptional!
The more I am in the Word, the more I delight in Him. I need something to look forward to. The more I get to know the Lord, the more I realize that He is all I need.
Are you stuck in the mundane? Are you having a hard time looking ahead wondering what there is to look forward to?
As I spend time with God, in His Word, sitting in His presence, I come to the realization that I have much to look forward to. Yes, there are many ordinary days, but as His child it is never mundane. I don’t need to imagine or create anything to look forward to, because I have everything to look forward to!
So today, I am choosing to look forward to an eternity with Him.