I grew up in the over-paced overs-cheduled world we find ourselves living in. I’m honestly not sure how my parents kept up with some of this stuff. Summer camps, after school activities, clubs, dance, friends, visiting with family, and so forth. It was truly insane and only worsened the older I got.

By the time I entered high school and manned my own schedule, I lived by my diary. I carried it everywhere to record important dates, appointments, work schedule, and homework. I look back now and think, "How did I survive such a manic schedule?" 

How do you schedule now? I’ve tried a great many things.  These days I use my smartphone to tap into my Google Calendar which then syncs immediately to my MacBook. I created multiple calendars for my various activities and each one is colour coded. Each family member has their own calendar that shows their activities in their favourite colour. I love the rainbow effect I can see at first glance! I can also tell who’s got activities right off the bat just by the coloured boxes.

The brilliant thing is now my calendars update with my husband’s phone. His blue calendar is one he actually maintains. Now that the kids are entering the realm of Teen-Land I am grateful because I will be able to turn their calendars over to them. Then they can update and everyone can see what’s going on and tweak their own calendar.

Sometimes it works to go see what tech brings to us. I remember the large diary, the Franklin-Covey planners, the printed calendar sheets, and the white boards. It took a long time to manage these various things and took a lot of conferencing with people. Not any longer!  Talk about brilliant! 

So what kind of things do we schedule? Field trips, work seminars, church activities, scouting events, birthdays, our weekly family night… the list goes on and on. I have sometimes even checked the calendar and noticed my husband’s scheduling "Go on a date" for the evening. Yes, it’s sad, but you know what we’ve learned? The world is busy and if we don’t make the time, we’ll lose the time.

I recently heard a wise man say that in a family, love is spelled: T-I-M-E. It reminds me of the spots on television my Church ran for a while stating: Family, isn’t it about… time? It so is.

How many times do we eat dinner on the run? How many times have I said to someone that I haven’t spoken to my husband in a week? How many times do we say we are going to do something and then we don’t because we forget or we’re tired or we just run out of time? 

Too often.  So my challenge to you is to look at next week on your own calendar. Pick a day. Block off just an hour and mark it Family Time. Everyone is required to be there. It doesn’t even matter what you do. Play a game of cards, talk about your day, or just sit and stare at each other. Just turn off the TV, put down the phones, and step away from the computers.  You won’t be sorry. Even if the kids whine because you are seriously cramping their X-Box scores.  Let me know how it goes! We enjoy our family nights. I’ll admit we’ve been not so great in doing them, but we try! It’s kind of fun to see the teen-type boy children taking it into their hands because they want it so much!  (Ours is on Monday nights.  Seems a good way to start the week!)

–Lady O