Last weekend I got the first glimpse of our new normal. All the things have begun. Back-to-school nights have come and gone, fall soccer is in full swing, community events and festivals abound. If you’ve followed for any length of time you know we’ve never been the family that goes a million miles an hour. We’re kind of bare minimal activity people over here, in fact. Living in the both/and daily. Proud busyness resisters and imperfect chaos managers; loud vision casters and quiet contentment seekers. We unravel busy as a family value and leave margins empty. Clean. What are the things we must do, we ask, and how much space does that leave for family time?
One thing I’m wondering lately is how good we’re doing with these open spaces in the schedule. How much re-creating is happening when we recreate?
You know my heart on this because you’ve done it too. An empty weekend day begins with all the possibilities. A good book that’s gathering dust on your bedside table. A garden that needs to be cut back in order for perennials to regrow well next spring. A board game half played on the dining table. A new hiking spot you’ve talked about for weeks. A carrot cake you’ve promised a child you can bake together.
And then the day just. . . happens.
As you jump back into work and school and life on Monday, you realize—with frustration—that though your weekend was full of recreation (fun or relaxing activity; peaceful camaraderie or rest), you may have done little to re-create (begin anew).
How can we become more intentional with this open space we’ve been given? With these margins? How can we use time more wisely so that when the day is done, it can be said we did more to re-create than recreate?
I went into last weekend with a re-create mindset and gave weight to each activity we contemplated both Saturday and Sunday, then sat down with Graham and the kids Friday evening to talk about it. We discussed the must-do’s: pick up the farm share, a soccer game at 3, coffee with a friend, teaching the children’s lesson on Sunday morning—then chatted through the want-to’s.
We cheered for an ice cream date after Saturday’s soccer game, a family board game night, a woods walk. Begrudgingly, the kids agreed to weed the space next to the driveway as a family chore, and we agreed to a dollar store date post-weeding. And a Saturday night date for two weary parents.
Certainly not every weekend will lend itself to relaxing activities, peaceful camaraderie or intentional rest, much less being created anew, but giving a wholehearted yes to make space for re-creation when possible is the first, strong step to actually doing the thing.