Oh my, yes this post is well overdue, you know what that means right? Yes, school holidays have been upon us and writing has had to slip to the back burner. Our wonderfully challenging family life has to come first. Oh well, I am only 12 days behind! I will be caught up in due course.
What would my ideal day look like?
Well, before I examine my ideal day, it is perhaps important to look at my week first. In my ideal week there is time for far more than can be jammed into a single day. In my ideal week there would be:
- Quiet, devotional and reflection time
- Couple time
- Mummy and me time (1:1 time with each of our children)
- Whole of family time
- Time to write
- Time to teach
- Research time
- Time to craft
- Time to invest into expended fault and friendships
- Time to give back to society (volunteering)
So, what does this look like in my ideal day?
During an ideal day, I would not be woken before 7:00am. This means sabotaging Jeremy’s alarm which wakes me consistently at 6:50am every morning. My rousing wold be followed by clothing, caffeination, cereal of some kind and preparing children. The all important 4C’s of a school morning. On an ideal day the children would be ready efficiently meaning that there would be plenty of time for the aspects of morning routines that I love the most. In particular, this includes helping the girls who desire it in styling their hair for the day, deciding on family snacks (which are only allowed in lunchboxes if everyone is ready on time) and helping boys polish their ever so scuffed shoes before getting into the car for another full day of school.
After school drop off I would have my devotional and personal quiet time. It is a time that I treasure and a key to keeping sane with so many charges to be responsible for and so many other personal commitments. I would have time for prayer, reading and writing with journalling being one of my favourite pastimes. Then, after clearing my thoughts and finding clarity I would have my time allocated to my writing. I really enjoy writing. One day it will all come together into something cohesive but for now I am happy for it to meandre along. A few tales being written that weave in their own wistless way through the minutes, days and hours of my life. One day they will hold power and purpose but for now they are just thoughts and etchings, both electronic and upon paper.
From there I would head into work, have lunch with my academic counterparts and enjoy their company and their expertise. I am blessed to be able to share a table with people who share wisdom and knowledge in domains that I will never venture myself. It is rich discussion to be had when sharing ideas that are from people who can add dimensionality to conversation in a way that would not be possible in their absence. I am blessed by people who are both unique and diverse.
It is not uncommon for me to find myself at a table simply being a sponge to ideas that are both diverse and seemingly abstract and far fetched, yet, at the same time are concepts that are plausible, possible, and able to be implemented with time, resorces and technology needed. It is a conversation that is rich and tangible. A conversation only possible with open minds and hearts as ideas traverse all aspects of ‘being’ in this world.
My afternoon would ideally consist of teaching, tutoring and grading student work. I enjoy nothing more than the sharing and impartation of knowledge. As much as I love the opportunity to occasionally lecture, I admit I enjoy tutorials more as I am able to connect learning to what students already know and understand about their world. I love being able to give something context and meaning in a way that they did not have before. There is so much that I can say I can give to others from my experience in the areas in which I teach. However, the blessing is in what I get back from seeing students become more confident in their knowledge, skills and sense of self. It truly is like watching birds learn to fly. Nothing is better than that.
When not teaching, I would delve deeper into my research. My goal is to save lives, more lives than I could save practising as a doctor, nurse or paramedic. My goal is global impact. Golly, I set the standard high, don’t I? But you have to aim for the stars and maybe, just maybe you will catch the moon if you fall short on distance. I am hopeful and expectant of big things but it will take time and patience for now.
After school, by and large, would not change much from as it is at present. It is chaotic, yet simple. Recreational interests to be faciliated around homework. It is helping one child whilst faciliating the independence of another. It is reminding children to complete their reading logs and encouraging the disenfranchised child to persist and that my help will be upcoming as long as they give it their best shot. We get to enjoy the celebration of learning as concepts are mastered both through their homework tasks as well as the mastery of skills in their recreational pursuits. It is busy time in our beehive but one that leaves you bursting with joy as the honey, the sweetness of family afternoon and early evening time.
In there I would hope and expect to get a chance to connect more directly with one or two children. Having one on one time, to me, is so important in supporting each of our children as individuals. To give them time to express their interests, their experiences and their grievances (usually about school) in an environment that reminds them that they are loved and that their voice is important. It is also a chance to connect over an interest our a game and to build those unbreakable bonds that positive experiences create. Yep, 1:1 time is a must each ‘ideal’ day too with at least one child.
Unfortunately, I cannot wish away housework. There needs to be a reality in here and that forms part of my evening. I sleep better if I know that I have a clean kitchen. It makes a world of difference that the benches are clean, dishes are all washed and away and the sink tidy. It is practical being able to go to sleep knowing that there is no reason for children not be able to create a kitchen onslaught without me. They know how to prepare themselves breakfast, all I have to do is ensure it is possible.
So, my evening would consist of getting children to bed. On occassion this involves my telling of bedtime stories, though most nights this is Jeremy’s specialty. The girls are currently reading Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ and the boys are ploughing through all the Harry Potter series. Sometimes, my evenings will incure the updo of girl’s hair before bed so that it comes out wavy for the next day. It is a ‘special treat’ to go to school looking just a little more up-done than usual. Of course, this is usually contingent on efficiency in bathing. (That is a whole different topic.)
Then after the essential, before bed, housework I would retire for couch time with Jeremy. Couch time is the time we invest in catching up on each other’s days, sharing essential communications, and investing quality time into our relationship. It is something that helps hold us together. It is our glue. Crikey, we notice when we have missed it over a couple of days too! So, we make it a priority. Then we prepare ourselves for our next morning before retiring to bed.
Ideally, I would not be committed to work or study more than four days a week, giving distinct time for volunteer work as well as extra time to invest into our home and children as needed. This is not always possible but I a look forward to enjoying a timetable that facilitates this for the next 18 months to start with. After that I might not want to revert back! We shall see I guess.
Featured image source: photosteve101 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/42931449@N07/ under Creative Commons license.