What is Intentional living?
We define intentional living as “doing life with purpose.” The decisions we make and the way we do life have everything to do with experiences. Our great joy is to travel, but that’s simply what we do as we live intentionally. Experiences happen here in our home, at school, on a road trip or across the world as we visit new places. There is a strong push for face to face relationships regarding our kids in our family. Social media is not a thing for our teenagers, but we nearly always say yes to in person fun between friends. But y’all, it’s COVID19 times and we are living through a global pandemic. It’s an understatement to say it feels like this has been thrown in our faces.
How we are handling the pivot with intentional living?
First, the slow down was a welcome surprise. We were hit head on with the reality of how fast a pace we were running, and it was clear our priorities had become askew. The complete halt in activity and return the basics of life were life giving during a scary and unknown time. Our intentional living took on new meaning. The kids had time to ride their bikes or the Onewheel, go fishing, read a book for fun, and catch up on their sleep. They helped around the house more, went with us as we walked the dog. We all spent hours on the front porch doing work, homework, eating dinners, and talking about everything.
As normal life came to a halt, so did the face to face fun with friends. It was heartbreaking to watch our teenagers (and tween) struggle to find a way to connect outside our family unit. We encouraged video games where they could talk with friends over the headset. We allowed more time on their phones to text with schoolmates. We let them do all the zoom calls they wanted. It was an extreme pivot from our typical parenting standards and although we didn’t love it, we did it.
Wishful Thinking vs. Opportunity
When big changes come, we have a decision to make. We can either sink into a hole wishing for what used to be or we can look forward in expectancy at the opportunities. In truth, we have grieved the things COVID19 has taken from us. All of the plans we made and saved for were scrapped. Because we focus on intentional living, we chose to move forward with purpose.
As we cancelled plans we created new ones. Plan B’s were cancelled, but we made the most of it with day trips and nearby adventures. We sought destinations where we could explore outdoors and easily social distance. Friends have become a constant rotation on our front porch where we can enjoy time while taking precautions. We even joked that we need a calendar for front porch invitations because we began to double book! The opportunities have always been there, but as we watched events get shaved off of our calendars, they became more apparent. Shep has connected with neighborhood friends he never had time for in the past. Holland has pursued a new sport while she’s not able to attend ballet class. Rowan has been fishing nearly every day. John has gone down a new avenue for his business so as to meet clients needs during this unknown time. I am continuing to build our business and am able to lay the foundations more deeply.
Moving Forward with Intentional Living
Many people are talking about waiting for things to go back to normal, but we don’t think that will be our focus. Will things ever go back to what we knew as normal? Well, we plan to continue to celebrate each kid’s uniqueness. There will be travel to come. “No” will be a word we begin to use as we set boundaries for the way forward. Built-in slow family time will become a priority. Face to face relationships will always be encouraged. Making choices that are best for our family will be at the forefront of our decisions making. Open conversations will be welcomed and respectful to all involved. Our home will hold space for anyone who wants to come-the invitation is open. And I suspect the more we reflect the more we will consider.
So we maintain a mindset that is grateful and hopeful and push forward with purpose. Some people call this pie in the sky positivity, but we only get one chance to live the life we have. So we choose to live intentionally and gracious do we have fun while doing it!