About a year and a half ago some friends and I decided we wanted to go see a movie together. We were sitting on the back porch after dinner, and a new, popular “mom” movie came up in conversation. There was immediate agreement that we would all like to go together, but the question was, when? We pulled out our calendars (some electronic and, in my case, paper – because I can barely read text messages without my glasses these days, much less see tiny calendar entries) to check our schedules.
Between the four of us we have 12 kids all under age 11. Some of us work and some of us stay home. Some are single and some married. With our children’s activities and our own personal commitments, there was a lot of rearranging and figuring that needed to be done to find a two-hour slot to see a movie AND have someone else be available to watch our children.
I’ll be honest, looking back at that evening, it’s fairly ridiculous.
How have we gotten to a point that trying to get four women together to watch a movie takes longer to arrange than for congress to approve a budget?
What does it say about the state of our daily lives that we even NEED calendars to keep up with it all?
Why do we spend so much time going and doing and driving and shuffling instead of just being?
Fast forward to today, and our calendar looks even worse. Despite all of our efforts to cut stuff out and keep our commitments to a manageable number, things just keep creeping into the schedule. None of the things are bad – as a matter of fact, I would be hard-pressed to cut any of them out unless I had to.
However, by this time of year, we’re tired.
We’re tired of going from meeting to event to game to activity.
We’re tired of spending more time in our car than in our home.
We’re tired of collapsing into bed at night, only to wake up in the morning to do it all over again.
We’re staring longingly towards the end of the school year when the activities will dwindle and the days will stretch out into long, hot laziness (we hope).
My kids, who have always been the type who wake up and ask, “what are we going to do today?” are now asking, “do we have to do anything today?”
So this past Saturday, I said yes. And no.
Yes, we have something to do today. We’re going out to the country. And at the same time, no, we don’t have to do anything today.
We’re going to look for frogs.
We’re going to catch a baby bunny in a field and pet it for a few minutes before releasing it into the wildflowers.
We’re going to play cards, climb on a tractor and stare at the clouds.
We’re going to soak up some sun, let the breeze tangle our hair, and dig in the dirt.
We’re not going to be busy. We’re not going to care what time it is. We’re not going to HAVE to do anything. We’re just going to breathe and be.
If you’re feeling as tired as we are right now, I encourage you to take some time to breathe and be. Put down the phone, close the calendar, turn off the computer, and take a few hours to do nothing that you have to do.
Soak up some sun, let the breeze tangle your hair, and, well…the dirt is optional.
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.