Time for a Winter Reset?

Just as we have the opportunity each September for a fresh start, taking a longer break mid-year and then coming back together in January gives us another chance to think about how we want to be and what our goals are. Don’t worry; I’m not going to start talking about New Year's Resolutions – I have not been successful enough in sticking to my own to advocate for them. But I do appreciate a good “re-set” now and then. I’m looking forward to two weeks at home with my family, and there are some re-sets that I have in my mind right now for this time. I’m sharing them here to see if they resonate with you.

Screen Time and Social Media: First of all, this is not just a kid thing – it’s a me thing. I wish I could tell you that I spend all my time online researching new educational trends and examining world politics, but I also spend way too much time playing word games and watching silly videos. And in general, I’m finding that I’m more attached to my phone than I’d like, especially when I could be spending my time differently with my family. Also, as my kids are getting older (13 and 16), I’m finding myself a little less connected with how they use their phones. I realize that our family has lost some of our collective self-discipline. Time for a reset! Over the break, I plan to use the Family Media Agreement from Common Sense Media to help frame our conversations and set ourselves up for some changes.

Outside Time and Exercise: My running habit came to a grinding halt in early October when I hurt one of my knees in a fall. My knee is fine now, but you know how habits go. Time for a reset! A couple of weeks ago, my family spent a couple of cold, wet hours walking in Carkeek Park, cheering the salmon on as they trudged upstream, and I realized it was the first time I’d spent that long outdoors and on the move...in WEEKS, and it was so fun! My family will mostly be home over the break, with a few days in the mountains. I’m looking forward to having more time to get outside and get moving and then incorporating that back into daily life once school starts up again. If you are going to be around over the break and interested in snow-free walks or hikes in the area, look at this list for ideas: Best Winter Hikes Near Seattle. And, if you’re inspired, let other families know your plans via our EW Social email group – maybe you’ll get buddies for your outing! Spending time outside is so good for all of us – adults, teens, and younger children; the benefits to our physical and mental health have been proven again and again. Let’s help each other, and our kids get outside. (Of course, when we get back from the break, Explorer West will be gearing up for our Winter OE days in the snow with snowshoes and cross-country skis!)

Well… I was also going to write about cleaning my desk before the break and recommend that you help your kids with a backpack/work area/binder reset, but then I decided that would be overly ambitious for one Bulletin and one winter break. So take it easy and enjoy your time together with your family instead!