It takes about a month, but our family has discovered us.
We’re into the second month of COVID19’s quarantines and cancellations. Our family has gone through all the stages of disappointment, boredom, curiosity, and fear. I’m surprised, however, to find that we are also grateful. We didn’t ask for this pause button; and yet, we desperately needed it.
With just our family together, huddled up at home–no sports or hustle or places to be–the Fear Of Missing Out is disappearing from our lives. In fact, I’m seeing that the FOMO was killing the real us.
When I’m living with this FOMO, it worries me to see groups of friends together on social media. Why aren’t we invited? Should we be having more people over? What should we be doing on a Saturday afternoon? More hustle? More activity? More accomplishing?
But without the chance for that, a picture of the Real Hergenraders is slowly developing. Without realizing it, I’ve been training my kids to rush to DONE, when the true joy and the rich lessons came from DOING. I’ve discovered that our family’s natural rhythm is slower than I thought. Now we have so long for every project–cleaning rooms, playing games, refinishing furniture–I’m finding that the good stuff comes in Hour Three of a project that we used to try to accomplish in 20 minutes.
I’ve signed our family up for so many activities and sports because I feel like this is the way to take good care of them. But what version of my family am I caring for? The real ones (the ones I’ve witnessed during this month at home) or a version that I thought they wanted to be? Without the constant hustle, our family is having conversations about what which sports they actually miss. Which activities did we even like? Which were important?
It took a month, but little new buds of realization are growing here. And even though I hesitate to rush to lessons and conclusions, I wonder which habits and activities we’ll add back to our schedule when we go back to a schedule.
What about you? What has this Pause Button shown you about your family? What hustle do you want to leave behind?