Ready to Stir Things Up?
Can you remember yourself as a child playing with a bucket of water? Maybe you dropped in some small leaves or acorn caps to watch them race around the bucket’s rim. You’d stir the contents around and around admiring the swirl of the whirlpool you created. The water was neat and organized and all going with the flow until you decided to make a change and abruptly stir in the opposite direction.
There was a brief moment of chaos as the water shifted directions. The leaves and acorns began to spin around and move out of sync. Some water would still be moving clockwise, some water pushed against the current in a counterclockwise direction, and some water even spilled over the edge! It’s not until the water found a new rhythm did it find its flow again, moving in the same orderly direction with the acorns and leaves back at it racing around the edge of the bucket.
I feel like on March 12, 2020, we had our very own buckets of water in full spin. The days were chugging along in a rapidly organized and super-busy flow. Our schedules were packed, swirling away full of obligations. We’d pause briefly here and there to catch our breath or to admire something we had completed, but then we were back at it churning away again.
Then, rather abruptly, the following day something happened to our buckets! I’d like to say we started stirring in the opposite direction, but instead, it’s almost as if a flat shovel was plunged into the whirlpool bringing the water to a messy, screeching halt! And with it, spilling water and watching our little leaves and acorns fall out of sync with the flow. March 13th was a sharp contrast to what we were so familiar with, leaving us all with a feeling of “now what?”
There our buckets stood still for a while as we tried to make sense of our days. We were stripped away of our routines and niceties, left to discover new ways to carry on.
We soon discovered, this pause could be used as an opportunity to just float and play in the water! And with it, a new way to appreciate our time and resources.
I remember one day as my daughter anxiously unpacked a box from Target filled with highly coveted and hard-to-find baking supplies at the time. As she upacked, she hugged each item saying things like, ‘I can’t believe how excited I am over this small bag of chocolate chips! It’s like the littlest things are bringing me the most joy lately!”
She was spot on! This pause in motion and my daughter's words inspired me to alter my own perspective. I made a conscious decision to find joy in the smallest moments rather than being disappointed about what we were missing out on. It’s amazing how a small shift in perspective can help to find the good in almost every situation.
Fast forward 14 months. It’s been a long haul since March 13, 2020. I’ve had an opportunity to revisit what’s important to me and my family. Finding time to spend with one another and appreciate the slower pace of the quieter days. It has also allowed me to learn more about my children, understand what their needs are and how to best communicate and connect as a family.
Society is starting to open its doors up again, and I’m over here needing to make some decisions! How do I want my life to look as we start restructuring our days? What will I choose to prioritize and what will I put on the back burner? I know we will have to add more to our calendar, but how will I be able to find a healthy balance that continues to honor what we value?
As we start to stir up our buckets again, we will begin to bring back flow and order. What will your bucket look like? Will you return to the fast spin and churn or will you choose to move at a slower pace and prioritize how you spend your days? Where will you put your attention? Will you be pushing the water around or slow down to enjoy the flow while watching the dancing leaves and acorns? Most importantly, once you have everything moving at the right pace for you and your family, how will you protect and maintain it, and bring awareness when you start swirling too fast?
I’m ready to start stirring things up again, but this time I’m taking control of the swirling water!
Rebecca Murphy, Certified PCI® Parent Coach.