This week, some odd thought-meanderings came together for me. Kind of like a misty picture that suddenly comes into focus. I’ve been writing this month about all sorts of little and big things that I have learned that make me a healthier person in the winter time. Some of them were major, like Vitamin D deficiency. Others seem small, like where I keep my thyroid medication. But they all have the potential to make a profound difference.
My epiphany came while I was out with Molly, back at the site of my photo-outing last weekend. We went, because Molly had been begging me to take her out so she could take some “pretty fall pictures” with her own camera. It was our third little “outing” of the week. As I reveled in the fresh, crisp wind blowing across the river, the sun still feeling warm on my face, watching her do what I love to do, I thought: this is so amazing… why have we not done this before?!
Do you want to know what the answer is? Normally, I am cooking dinner at that time. I am serious; all of our outings were during the normal dinner-prep time, the time that my 10-year-old ballerina is at dance.
But the last couple weeks I have tried a new thing. I cook dinner before 3 in the afternoon.
I hope you can stay with me, even though this may seem long or random. You see, my 10 year old daughter is on a fast-track to achieve her dream of being a pointe ballerina. And in order for her to go off to dance well-fed every day, she needs dinner early. As my husband rarely makes it home in time for a “family dinner” because he works in a high pressure job an hour from home, it made sense to try making dinner early.
I can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner! In holding on to my idea of the Ideal Family Dinner, I was trying to force our life into something currently impossible, and missing out on a blessing in the meantime.
What blessing? The blessing of free time to spend one on one with my youngest daughter, doing things like craft-shopping and beauty-chasing. And the blessing of longer evenings. When I was trying to time our dinner with my husband’s coming home, we were often eating at 7 p.m. and still cleaning the kitchen at 8 p.m.
The reason I am bothering to write about all of this? If things aren’t working, or if you are struggling, you just have to keep trying, until things click into place. Really and truly, sometimes the answer can be as simple as cooking dinner earlier, or changing where you keep your prescription, or training yourself to take your camera every time you run out the door.
Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you, that if you are struggling with exercise, or remembering to take your vitamins, or your bedtime routing isn’t working… whatever it is. Don’t resign yourself to that “just being the way it is.” Because one day, if you are open, you’ll hear a little voice in your head say “what if you try…..” and if you try it, it will be magic.
Do you have an “I kept trying and….” story?
P.S. I am still a huge proponent of Family Dinners. In this season of life, however, we are being a little more creative in how we achieve that same purpose. We homeschool our children, so we have many many more hours per week when we are together, than if they attended school outside the home. The kids and I still eat 2 meals a day together, and are very purposeful about family time when my husband is around. His evenings are usually spent connecting with the kids, and then connecting with me. And some day, we hope my husband will have a job that will allow us to shape our family life even more according to what we value most: being together.