There is a definite shift in the air this time of year. Not only are the days getting shorter and the temperature cooler, but there is a transitional shift back into the school year that everyone feels. Even if you are not directly affected by the start of school, you can not deny that life tends to feel more structured and productive as summer comes to a close. As a teacher who did not work this summer, I have been craving routine and structure for the last few weeks. I have used these cravings as momentum to adopt a few hacks to make the transition into working life smoother.
Let me share with you what I have been implementing the last few weeks!
For the last month or so, I have spent time praying and discerning our current involvements. This time in prayer was used to ask the Lord what commitments both my husband and I should continue, what we should give up, and what new opportunities we should embrace. This is still part of my prayer each morning but I have found that working in collaboration with the Lord makes each obligation and involvement that much more fulfilling.
My husband and I decided to set goals for this school year. We went on a long walk with some coffee and strategized what we thought would be important for us to accomplish as a team. Going back to work for me paired with his interesting work schedule leaves two days a week that we will not see one another. One of our goals is to preserve our Thursday evenings for date night. This will include 3 out of the 4 Thursdays of the month enjoying a meal together at our kitchen table. It brings my heart ease knowing that we will still have quality time, regardless of how busy our schedule gets!
A few months into marriage I bought a wall calendar. It has been a game changer for us! Dylan and I are on the same page about our schedules. He knows when I am singing for a wedding or have a doctors appointments. Last week I synced my school calendar with our home calendar. I wrote down the dates for holiday breaks, days I will be at school late for conferences, and other important school events. I am hoping that this simple hack will provide ease in making other plans this fall. This is also a foolproof way to never forget family birthdays!
I used to resent the kitchen. I do not have the intuition it takes to pull a meal together out of thin air. To avoid a complete tantrum every time I try cooking, my husband and I plan meals for the entire week in one sitting. I love his input on what foods he is craving and it makes cooking more enjoyable knowing that I am fulfilling his requests. This method also provides incentive to try new recipes! We then write it out on a small whiteboard that we keep on the side of the fridge. I have learned that planning out the meals in advanced limits the number of trips to the grocery store.
Lastly, I have been embracing my day off! This year I will not be teaching on Mondays! I have gotten into the habit of using Monday as my prep day for the rest of week. This is the day that I clean the house, pick up groceries, and wash/cut produce! This habit has taken the pressure off of work days and made for more relaxing evenings.
I can not promise you that these five steps will create a flawless transition back into the school year, but I can encourage you to take a few moments in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind to simple hacks that work for your family! “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” -Acts 1:8
Until Next Time~ Your Sister in Christ,