Change of Season

With my husband away for the next couple of months and until we join him in July, I am in what I like to call a change of season.  Like any change of season, I couldn’t go into it blind trying to do and accomplish all the same things as I did before.  I had to recognize this new phase of life and make some adjustments to my daily schedule in order to make it work.   When my husband is home I don’t have to be nearly so rigid with my schedule as I have another pair of hands in the house to help me get things done.  Now that it’s just me and the kids it was time to realign some priorities and scale back a bit in the name of sanity.

So I called a family meeting.  I asked the kids what was most important to them.  What was reasonable to hold on to and to make time for.  I evaluated each task based on the time and energy involved and whether or not it would build up rather than tear down my walls of resilience.

Two most important tasks identified were family devotions and exercise.  Now more than ever I needed to make time for these things and by make time I mean scheduled time.  If I wasn’t intentional about slotting these activities in, they just wouldn’t happen.   It would be too easy to let other priorities and habits that were a part of my old season work their way back in to my schedule.  I need to recognize that these other things, while still meaningful and purposeful, are not a priority in this season for me, like computer time and working on my business, and be okay with it.  I can’t possibly do it all and I’m not even going to put any effort into trying.  I would only burn myself out really quickly, I know that, so it’s important to me to make changes before I get to that point not as a result of it.

Evaluate priorities and then schedule and make time for them to ensure they happen.

Having a schedule aligned with my priorities gives me purpose rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself.  It keeps me focused on my time, my kids and reminds me to be present in the moment.  Without that I’m sure one day would just blur into the next as I tried to maintain the schedule we once had when there were two of us to execute it.

It’s a change of season, one that I could fight and resist and not do anyone any good or I can come along beside it and embrace it for what it is.

It’s a choice we make once we recognize that it is a season.  It could be a new baby in the house, a new job, young children at home, homeschooling, an empty nest, illness, pregnancy, death, divorce, any number of things that require our time and attention in different ways.

Identify priorities and be intentional about them.

My kids and I sat down and wrote out all the things we wanted to incorporate into the day on little slips of paper and the amount of time each would take.  Then beside a larger sheet of paper with time increments written down the left hand side we arranged and rearranged those little slips of paper according to the time slots available, like a puzzle trying to see how we could make the pieces fit.  This was such a fantastic visual activity for the kids because they could clearly see what time was available to us and could recognize that we had one of three choices, include the activity, reduce the time an activity took or get rid of it altogether.  It worked, we now have a schedule that has been working beautifully.  I love that I have an hour and a half of exercise time in my day (not all at one time mind you), an hour for family devotions and we were even able to squeeze in some mom and daughter time watching an episode of the Facts of Life together every night :)

My blogging time has been greatly reduced but I still have a couple of hours in the schedule each day so you may or may not even notice the difference, depending on how wisely I use this time.  Much of the project work and extras will be put on hold for now though.

My anxiety is reduced and my kids are happy and hopefully that combination will make the time pass quickly until we can all be a family again.  It’s a season and, God willing, we’ll get through it, one day at a time.

Matthew 6:33-34 (ESV)

33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What season of life are you in right now and have you adjusted your schedule accordingly?

Filed under: My Life

Comments

32 Responses to Change of Season

  1. 1
    nikki schmaltz says

    Spending time together and doing for each other is most important. I hope the time without your husband goes very quickly. God Bless

  2. 2
    Carmen says

    “My kids and I sat down and wrote out all the things we wanted to incorporate into the day on little slips of paper and the amount of time each would take. ”

    I think this is a great idea. I might need to implement this in my home. Thanks for the idea. I hope this time goes smoothly and passes quickly until you can join your husband. :)

  3. 3
    ter@waaoms says

    I’m in a similar yet, completely different, season of life…

  4. 4
    Emily/Miss Mommy says

    I love the idea of the slips of paper. mine aren’t old enough for that yet, but I may need to do it for myself!

  5. 5
    Susanne says

    Your a very wise girl, Laura! Love the slips of activities paper and time slots idea.

    I feel change coming on around here but what it is yet I’m not sure. Just trying to take one day at a time and not stew about it because that does nothing but stress me out.

  6. 6
    Mari Larkin says

    I’m an empty nester with what seems endless amount of time…but yet I never have enough time. Weird how that happens. I really think you use your time more wisely when you have kids and have to be more organized. Your post today made me evaluate my days and I think I will have to write out what’s important and schedule my time better. Thanks for the boost!

  7. 7
    Niffer says

    I am in the season of re-evaluating my priorities. I’ve decided to cut back at work a little (step back from going to management =salary).

    I love the paper slips idea. My older two might be able to do this. Good idea for our “summer fun calendar”.

    I here what you are saying about having to schedule the devotional time. such a struggle for me (I work 12 hr night shifts, so my days/nights are never the same)…it’s constantly a work in progress.

  8. 8
    Joyce @ Keeping Up With The Moys says

    Each day will feel slow, but incorporating what’s important to you will help a great deal. Hope it’ll go by fast and you’re reunited!! We are going through a ton of (surprise) layoffs again over here in California, so having a job is such a blessing for all the people I know, especially the state employees (which both my sister and my BIL are). And from personal experience (not of 4 months), I know that distance really does make the heart grow fonder, and you will be so grateful to have each other and will cherish the moments when you’re together again. Hang in there.

  9. 9
    Dawn says

    My youngest of 3 turns 1 year old this month and I still feel like I haven’t found a schedule that works for us since he joined our family. I have been making myself crazy trying to decide how to best incorporate a better schedule that works for us. So thanks for this great idea! I think my 6 year old will love helping me try to create a schedule. Best of luck as you try to “hold down the fort.”

  10. 10
    Kim says

    My busy season all depends on the kids and what we are doing in homeschool at the time.
    I so admire you putting your priorities in order and sticking to them. Because it’s hard sometimes. But trying to do everything will indeed make you crazy.
    You can do this and what’s important to know is that we will all be here even if you aren’t here every day.
    Hugs
    Kim

  11. 11
    Newlywed & Unemployed says

    Right now I’m in the unemployment season, hopefully to become the going back to school season. If we were a little more prepared, it’d actually a good time for have a baby season.

    To take advantage of our unemployed schedule, we’ve set aside a couple hours a day for the gym. Usually in the morning. There’s no excuse now and we’re not going to miss out on this chance to help our health.

    Other than that, things are pretty fluid. When the weather’s a little better, some of our hobbies will come back into play and should be allotted an evening or two each week.

  12. 12
    Andi says

    I love the slips of paper idea, it’s so easy just to try and cram one more thing into an already busy schedule (which is what I always do!). I am in a season where I work a more-than-full-time very demanding job and I think I need to follow your example and try and adjust my schedule to fit the season. Thanks for the great ideas you are always sharing. I admire your ability to take what could be a very difficult season of life and approaching it with such strength.

  13. 13
    Stina says

    I’m happy to say that this season of my life is almost over and a new one is about to begin. My husband has been gone since November 2, 2008 with the military and we’ve been together for 5weeks as a family since then. He is currently in Kuwait and will be home by the end of April. To say that we are beyond thrilled for these 17.5mos to be over is an understatement. It has been extremely difficult at times, of course, but we’ve made the best of it. I feel like I’m a better Mama and much more ‘present’ than I was before. My relationship with our girls has grown by leaps and bounds and I just love love LOVE having them around. The fact that I hardly ever get a few hours to myself has stopped phasing me (although that took about a year or so).

    We’ve also been recipients of great blessings and know that Heavenly Father is ever mindful of our little family. When I had an ectopic pregnancy and a tube ruptured in Dec. ’08, my best friend rushed to the ER at 330am and picked up my girls and sat with me while I cried before heading to surgery. I had people in line eager to watch our girls and dogs, bring us food, and check in and make sure we were okay. If that doesn’t show the mercy and love Heavenly Father has for each of us, I dont know what does.

    Finally, my husband and I may be parted by more than 7000 miles, but our marriage, friendship and love for one another has never been stronger. We only get to speak once or twice every week or two…but he is still very much a part of our day-to-day lives. His role in our home is felt even across the miles and we just know we have the best Daddy ever in our family. :)

    You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts. I hope this time passes quickly for you…but that you all are able to reap the blessings from this trial as well.

  14. 14
    Michelle says

    What a wonderful post, Laura! As of Monday I will be on a new schedule at work for the first time in 5 years, and it will be a change for the family to adjust to…good in many ways, but nonetheless different, and I have been contemplating priorities too!

    Thanks for this post!

  15. 15
    thursday says

    I keep hoping this is just a “season” that we’re in. My husband got a new job back in August 2008, and we still haven’t settled in. We moved 2000 miles for this job, away from all family and friends, only two weeks after I gave birth to my son. Everything we do is because of my husband’s schedule, my husband’s work habits, etc. So irritating. I’m trying to be the best I can, though. And hope there is an end soon.

  16. 16
    Kim says

    Great post & good reminders. My husband may be gone for work for a couple of months & I’ll be sure to use your ideas to make it easier on us.

  17. 17
    Marie-Claire says

    It takes a very wise woman to recognize when it is time to put other things aside and concentrate on what is really important in the moment! This wisdom was shared with me many years ago and I try to remember it at times when I, too, change seasons or need to reorganize my life & priorities in unexpected ways :)

    I have many times had to temporarily let go of something that I enjoyed & served others in place of something else that tugged persistently at my heart (and my schedule) instead. Whether the new priority is a job, special-needs child, health matter, or like you – the anticipation of moving and maintaining family togetherness in the meanwhile – it can be difficult for someone who generally has so much control over her life (I understand as I am the same way) to temporarily relinquish that control and, well, just…wait! As you have found, prioritizing and keeping busy with those precious to you is the best solution of all. Best wishes to you all! Marie-Claire

  18. 18
    Betsy says

    I’m a grandma of three with two more babies coming in April and August. My husband runs a very busy but small company of four regular employees, so he travels A LOT! My mother broke her leg two weeks ago and is living with us. I’m in a really strange season of life being mom to my mom. THANK YOU for your post. It helped me tons this morning as I’m very busy today. But my devotions will follow this. I needed your reminder to schedule them!

  19. 19
    Jana says

    This was beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us. My husband and I are moving cross country for his job. Only recently have I realized that I keep trying to stick a square peg in a round hole. We are not able to continue using the same schedule for this new life. These are really good thoughts you have inspired and I cannot thank you enough. Hang in there!

  20. 20
    Jeannette says

    wow love the priorities. Great post as usual, I did steal your picture of the pink flowers to use as my desktop.. It made my living room brighter and I didn’t have to spend the money on a bouquet of flowers.

  21. 22
    Nicole says

    We are in the season of figuring out our finances. What a pain in the butt. It feels impossible! I willsay prayer for your family. Btw…I love those verses….a couple of my favorites. Have a blessed day:)

  22. 23
    Jen says

    Great post!

    Just wondering when you’re announcing the winners of the 28 day Challenges?! Everyone did such a great job I cant wait to see who wins!

  23. 24
    Marjorie says

    Your post was very timely for me. I’ll probably re-read it again because I think there is a lot that I can take away from it. I’m tacking time management this month because I’m terrible at it. In going through this process, one thing I had not given thought to is what my priorities are in life. I plan to go back and list my priorities first, then tackle making a schedule. Thanks for this awesome post!

  24. 26
    Shanna says

    Praying for you as you go through this season of life…I see that you are wise in determining, along with your children, what is important for now and what you can let go of.

  25. 27
    HeavenlyHomemakers says

    I love the idea of having all the “things to do” on little pieces of paper and fitting them into the day. How great for the kids to SEE it.

    You are obviously using God’s wisdom as you forge this new season. He will bless you through that. I’ll keep praying. :)

  26. 28
    chupieandjsmama says

    This is a great post Laura. Without scheduling my time, I get nothing done. I hope this is a happy season for you and that it goes fairly quickly so you can all be together again.

  27. 29
    enrolled agent course says

    This is a very inspiring post! What’s really important in someone’s life is to be able to spend quality time with your family since these precious moments are priceless.

  28. 30
    Liz @ Frugally Blonde says

    Thanks for the inspiring post! Right now I’m expecting our third child and resisting a little the idea that I may have to put a lot on hold during a season of three little ones. Thanks for reminding me of the true priorities.

  29. 31
    tracey says

    thank you for your posting Laura it has made me realise that I am simply in a season not a hole that seems to deep to get out of this season will change

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