In August, I kept thinking that I would get to September and fall into my new routine. I assumed it would happen quickly. I would be settled in September. What I really meant was just wait for October. I’ll be settled in October because the whole month of September was needed to adjust to a new routine. Live and learn. New routines are not made overnight. They are made over days and weeks and sometimes months.
I’ve already admitted that September was way more challenging than I imagined. I’m amazed at how quickly the month went, but I’m okay to see it go. While I hope that October will bring that settled feeling I’m craving, I also know that there is no such thing as a normal month. October is birthday month for my boys as well as many family members. October is the kick off to growth group at our house and the beginning of classroom volunteering. October also holds part of our flooring being torn up and replaced (this Tuesday, pray for me). I’ll host my first coffee chat as area connector for our Network of Women Ministers (also this Tuesday). I’ll have my first sit down to help plan my first wedding as wedding coordinator at the church. All good things, but all new to October. I won’t be surprised if I get to November and repeat what I said about September and October.
Here is what I’m learning – things take time. Normal is an elusive dream. I might wish for settled feelings to kick in, but in reality it might takes months. And it’s okay. It’s okay for the adjustment period to be slow. It’s okay to take my time finding our new normal. And I’m okay with figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. I can make changes. So often I feel locked into commitments or things that I should do. We talked about this at MOPS & MOMSnext last week. Should is a guilt word. We need to be empowered to do what is right for our families – with our own unique dynamics and limitations. There is no blanket set of rules for each family. This gives me freedom.
Family schedules are a lot like math. I have the power to add and subtract. I know that subtracting isn’t as fun as adding, but eventually if you add, add, add the fun turns to exhaustion. I feel like I’m tittering on the edge of having added too much. I loved the simplicity that the baby days brought me. I had to say no to many things because I couldn’t do them with a child in tow or I was too limited in my energy to take on more. As my kids have grown, my capacity has grown. Just because I can do more, doesn’t mean I should. I don’t want my life to feel like a rat race. I plan to live with my current commitments and see how it all shakes out this fall. I need to remind myself that I am at the max and that adding more would be unwise. I’m also writing this here as a accountability. I don’t need to add more. I don’t need to feel bad for choosing less – if it’s for the health of my family.
I’ve never been good at math. But I’m learning. And now that I’m helping my son with math homework with “new” math techniques, I’ve also seen how there is more than one way to learn a skill. It might take some trial and error, but I’m dedicated to finding balance. It’s a daily effort, but well worth it. So let’s see what October has in store. Will it hold that elusive feeling of being settled? Or will that always be a month off? Even if I don’t find that feeling, I can tell you that I will intentionally have a fantastic month. I will celebrate birthdays, I will eat all things pumpkin, I will do fun fall activities with loved ones. October is my favorite month of the year. I plan to make it a good one!!