Somewhere after midnight Saturday but before the sun popped up with its bright hello on Sunday morning, we put down our bags and laid down our heads and uttered silent thank you's to our beds for still being here to greet us.
It's good to be home.
But home comes with many invitations, and I find myself hypersensitive to the pull of the never-slowing hamster wheel of activity our society has created.
There are birthdays to plan and school supplies to buy and lessons to prepare. Dogs need walking and clothes need washing and I need exercising! Children want dinner. Bills must be paid. And did I mention lessons must be written?
I tend to throw myself in every direction at once, like one of those crazy amusement park octopus rides with arms flying everywhere, spinning wildly out of control.
Perhaps. At least, that's what I used to believe.
But a new thought has been tapping my shoulder and begging to be noticed. A quieter, less juggle-minded, calmer thought.
What if, instead of attending to every invitation, every idea, every request -- what if -- I carefully choose how I spend my time? What if instead of spinning and whirling and juggling, I simply relax and let life flow. I can choose how I spend my time and define my own priorities instead of allowing them to be defined for me.
This year I will regard the many invitations to join the rat race very carefully. This year I refuse to let another person or idea dictate what is important for me and my family. This year, when stress levels rise and anxiety begins to creep inside my classroom, my home, or my mind, I am prepared to sweep them away with these words:
- First, do no harm. (Positive thoughts about myself and others)
- Breathe and be in this moment only.
- Do something kind every day, for myself and others.
More on these three concepts later. For now, it's time to cuddle up with a good book. The dishes can wait.