This past week I've been engrossed with and loving the messages this book offers-
"You can see what a family holds dear from the pattern of their everyday lives."
"As parents we're the architects to our family's daily lives. We build a structure for those we love by what we choose to do together, and how we do it. We determine the rhythms of our days; set a pace."
"We want our family to be a container of security and peace, where we can be our true selves."
I've been thinking a lot about these rhythms our family has and holds, the rituals we need to continue to strengthen, the ones we need to begin. I've been thinking and working on ways to bring even more simplicity to our lives.
This week we decided TV was only for weekend mornings. Not that they watched a lot during the week, but mornings are our most chaotic time and television has certainly played a big part in the chaos. The shift has been a good one. This week we're adding sitting down to family breakfast. Dinnertime grounds us as we round out our day. I'm hoping breakfast time will soon do the same as we begin.
This week I painstakenly sorted the already mostly sorted collection of toys our children have accumulated. Bags were filled for Goodwill and yardsales, bags were filled to be recycled, and I did what I didn't think would ever go over well. I put more than half the toys away with the promise that in a month, the current toys would be replaced by the toys that were now on sleep mode.
We sorted simply and in smaller containers: cars, hats, doctor kit, bugs... They have been thrilled by these new bins and with less. Clearly they were overwhelmed.
This season we're saying no to soccer and dance, planning/buying excessively for the holidays, buying stuff when we have so much already that can be read, built with, played with, created, and loved. I'm saying NO, sometimes really loudly- to myself only- ahem...to coffee shop Chai teas and eating out. I'm also saying, "Starting today..." and "You didn't see me at Soma yesterday, OK!"
This season we're saying YES too- to time together, hikes, traveling, camping, appreciating what we already own, once a week date nights, more family meals at home, movie nights with lots of buttery popcorn, and less is so, so much more.