Four years ago, our family came really close to going crazy. My daughter’s seizures were spiraling out of control. My oldest son was making so really poor choices. My two younger boys were feeling lost and left out. My wife was getting buried in nursing school prerequisites. I was struggling to keep up with my new job.
We were being ruled by our calendars. Slaves to our smartphones. We had no time to think or reflect or appreciate the good in our lives, or do anything but instinctually react to stimuli. We knew there was more, but we couldn’t figure out how to rediscover it.
So we forced a slow-down. We called our parents, secured a sitter for the kids, and left everything behind for 72 glorious hours.
It was the best thing we could have done.
Our weekend was filled with a lot of nothing. The first morning we leisurely perused the streets until we found a local bakery for breakfast. We sat for an hour, just enjoying the food, the coffee, and each other. For the first time in what felt like years, we finished a conversation (!) instead of being interrupted by our children.
We found a crazy mirror maze and giggled and pointed as each other until we escaped. We watched an airplane show from the back of a speedboat in the middle of the lake. We discovered what pizza is supposed to taste like at Giordano’s. We decided together not to go on the ferris wheel.
Before this weekend, we had lost the freedom to love because of our schedules. We had forgot what we enjoyed most about each other. We were slaves to crazy, but we broke free. Because we forced a timeout.
We created an in-between time in the midst of busy and change and fear and concern and worry. We did discuss some of our family challenges over this weekend, and arrived at some strategies to better deal with our family. And our marriage is better for it.
Sometimes life gives us slow seasons, built in rest periods to appreciate. But sometimes it is up to us to build those in-between periods into our lives. Either way, it is so important for us to take these moments. In order to consider how to overcome our current challenges. To celebrate the victories from our past. To remember who we are. To remember why we love the people we love and do the things we do. To rediscover ourselves.
Do you need to consider slowing down and appreciating the best things in your life?
If you are interested in reading more about these in-between periods, my writing colleague Jeff Goins has written a book on this, fittingly enough titled The In-Between. The book officially releases on August 1, but is available for pre-order now. If you do pre-order you will get some nifty extras with your purchase.