Ready, Set, GO! That's how I feel every year at this time. School starts. The long list of to-do's I racked up over the summer looks like something I should tackle. Topping it all off, the faint sound of jingle bells can already be heard. With the best intentions, I try to work it ALL in. The problem is this: the truly important things tend to blend right in with the cumbersome list of SHOULDS and the whole lot suddenly looks imperative regardless the size of the task.
In recent years, technology promises it will save the day with helpful apps for me and educational programs and games to keep the kiddos occupied. But what does it REALLY do for us; where does it leave us at the end of the day? Jumping thru hoops, over hurdles and being only half present at every turn.
Sometimes it takes a lightning bolt to jar us out of the haze, as I was reminded on a recent Saturday afternoon when I was busy running around, checking my phone for what was next. I saw a note from Elizabeth Jones, one of our awesome Facebook Community Co-Managers. She told me that her and her husband Chris, FredParent's incredible Editor, and their 3-month-old son had suffered a house fire the night before. The tragedy left them with nothing material, but in the ashes, there was the great gift of perspective for Chris, Elizabeth and all those around them. I marvel at the outpouring of love and generosity from their friends and strangers alike. But most of all, I am in awe of the Jones' and their ability to keep things in perspective. I've always said "should-y" thinking gets us nowhere and they continue to illustrate how true it is ~ they have not once lamented over their situation or bemoaned the way it SHOULD be. By keeping their eyes on what is truly important, they are flourishing. It's a lesson I aim to remember each and every day as I make the choices on where I put my energy and priorities.