“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,”
~ Annie Dillard
I’m often struck by Dillard’s words, the simple reminder each minute and hour eventually adds up to a life. Looking back on yesterday, last year, even just an hour ago, it’s mostly the ordinary moments that build up a day. The ones that are so easy to neglect because they will be here again tomorrow. Breakfast, laundry, driving the kids to school, one moment after another, often on repeat.
A day is filled with choices. So many it’s easy to forget that it’s choice that creates how each moment, even the mundane moments, are lived. I love to think about the big “one day” things my life might have; buying a house, an Alaskan cruise, having a business, and appreciate the extraordinary moments that have already happened, but in truth, they will make up a fraction of my life, and they were made possible because the ordinary moments were there, one choice after another, building and creating my days.
The everyday moments are the ones to focus on if we want a life well lived.
The question is how to embrace them.
I once thought in order for my family to love our days, we had to have a lot of time to do what we loved. I’ve found it isn’t the amount of time we have, but how we spend our time. Every car ride, meal, early morning, bedtime story offers opportunity, time that can be spent doing what we love.
The first step is narrowing down how we want to spend our days. Next, we think about the parts of our day and consider how to incorporate how we want to live in the moments that already exist, and lastly, we create a rhythm that allows for the things we love and want to be present.
We can change the way our days and therefore our lives are lived.
It starts with each family member asking themselves a question, How Do I Want to Spend My Days.
I made a list of all the things I want to spend my life doing, big and small, and it turns out each item on my list fits into just a few categories
being with loved ones
doing what I love
My family’s lists fit into these categories as well. We want to spend time together with the people we love, pursue passions, be of service, and see the world. My guess is many of us share similar hopes for our lives.
It also turns out, three out of four of the items on my list I can do daily. Sure, I can get caught up in the fact that it’s 5 am and I only have until my children wake up to write, but even if it’s only for a short while, the moments add up. I don’t have to wait for a huge chunk of time to do what I love. And the truth is, if I didn’t carve out intentional time, there would be no moments. I’d never write.
By embracing the ordinary moments our days are spent how we want to spend our lives.
But it’s hard to embrace the ordinary moments if things feel chaotic or we’re not focused.
A family rhythm, a gentle routine to guide, allows the parts of our day (especially the ones that are busy or hard) to have focus and slow down, so the things we want to spend time doing, have enough time to be there.
I’d love to share my family’s rhythm with you and help you create your own. To celebrate the launch of Curiosity Encouraged and help you connect to the many resources to come, when you join our newsletter, I’ll send you my new e-book, Create a Family Rhythm. In it are steps, templates, examples- everything you’ll need to create your own family rhythm.
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I can’t wait to share Create a Family Rhythm with you and hear how you use the resources to help your family enjoy your time together even more.