All of the schools in my area have either already returned to classes or they begin next week. It is officially “back to school” time and, in a sense, the end of summer. The temperatures are still very much summer but the relaxed schedules and carefree (dare I say, lazy) days of summer are gone for another year. And it really seems that everyone is already full-speed ahead into the hyper-scheduled, full day of commitments, feeling the stress mode that back to school seems to bring – even those who no longer have kids in school!
I am a schedule kind of a girl. I thrive on an organized routine. However, I think there is a nugget of wisdom in holding onto a bit of the carefree summer mindset. Too often, we hold up our over-stuffed, color coordinated planners – with every line, every hour carefully accounted for – as badges of honor as if crazy schedules will prove we are good mothers, efficient wives and/or super productive women. In reality, the bulging planners just show we are busy.
And there is much to be missed when we are over-scheduled. The unplanned fun of playing with our children. The impromptu coffee break with a girlfriend. Simply soaking in creation on an extra long walk with the dog. Finding yourself completely absorbed in your devotional time that a whole hour slips away before you even realize it. Learning about a need – a neighbor needs a babysitter or a coworker needs a meal – and having the time to not only meet the need but not feel stressed while doing it.
We so often allow ourselves the time to do these things during summer – and even look forward to them. But once back to school season begins, there is a shift in our thinking that affects our time and, very often, robs us of blessings. And that’s a shame. I’m certainly not tossing my schedule out the window – but I do want to keep it fluid and do my planning with more of the carefree attitude of summer.