By Leslie Parks - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This September has ushered in a change for me. It's a good change and probably one that has been needed earlier than this year. The change is having all the kids at school.  Isaac just started school since he's at Whatcom and has a very relaxed schedule on some days. However I have periods of being alone. It was something that I didn't get very often and when I did I treasured it. I still treasure this time. Time to sit on the couch and have my devotional. Time to take the dog for a walk with my camera and not have a time to be at home or to feel guilt. Time to clean the house and have it clean for more than one day. Time to think about dinner and plan for it before the  5 minutes that John walks through the door. Time to get dressed and do my hair and brush my teeth without someone needing me. I guess I had no idea how much I need alone time. As I sit and write this, I am alone. The only music on is the sound from outside floating through the back door.  The dog sleeping near my feet, the golden rays of the sun streaming through the window. I have time to reflect upon this last month. I've had a month without a daily schedule, just lists I make myself for the day. Now after a month of randomness alone, I am starting to need a schedule. Oh, I have a tentative schedule, clean house on Monday, Laundry on Tuesday but more of a exercise followed by devotional, followed by picking up. I do best with a routine. My kids are getting into their own routine. Up by 6 am, catch the bus at 7am. School until 2:30 and home at 3pm. Followed by snack and homework and practices and dinner. But those times of being alone, I know I would thrive with a schedule. I'm just trying to figure it out. 
The other day when I went for a walk with the dog. It was right after the kids caught the bus. We went to our usual spot but I grabbed the camera and wandered with the dog. Being outside, watching the fog lift off the river and sun's rays lighting the leaves and the dew on spider webs, I realized that I need to be outside at least once each day, soaking up the sights, watching the dog just enjoy himself in the outdoors and living life for that moment. Therapy maybe, but it is healing and soothing.

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