Please forgive me for not writing any MyPeak Challenge (MPC) updates since my original post. I have been ridiculously busy. My days are so full with assignments and new business and now this challenge, and they seem to zip by. Just when I have a moment to write, I look at the clock and see that I will have only a couple of hours to sleep before I have to be up again tomorrow.
Tonight we are warm and cozy while a blizzard blows outside, so I will take the opportunity to catch up.
Our first week of My Peak Challenge was AMAZING.
Really, amazing is the only word I can think of to describe the ambition, excitement and interest that lit up the children’s faces whenever we talked about challenges we could do, obstacles we may need to overcome and ways we could engage the community to make these next few months extra fun.
I have five million ideas churning through my mind about exactly how we might do that, some involving red, curly, Sam/Jamie wigs and others equally insane. I figure the more I tease the children about Sam/Jamie, the more likely they are to come over to my side on admiring his looks.
Although #1 did tell me last night that Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Avengers is “just dreamy, don’t you think”, so I am not sure this will ever happen. Sorry, Sam….They do admire you for your good works, if that makes you feel any better…
We decided early on one that of our official challenges would be trying something new every week. Our first adventure was ice skating. We have been skating three or four times in the past, but have never gotten much farther than hanging on for dear life to the wall. Our challenge was to let go of that wall (literally and figuratively).
It took three visits to the rink, but we all achieved this first Challenge. More importantly, we had THE BEST time doing it.
If I take anything away from our first week of My Peak Challenge, it will be to remember how truly special and necessary it is to have time with your family that is absolutely and totally joyful.
If your family is like mine, you can quickly get caught up in busy schedules, tight deadlines and appointments, petty sibling arguments, incessant whining, aggravating pickiness and a numbing sense of being tired of it all. Our Challenge Time (called a PeakStreak by MPC) was an opportunity to simply be. And to do that with each other.
We laughed, we cheered, we hugged, we held hands. It was magical.
Several things happened during our PeakStreak:
- #1 let go of her incessant quest for making everything exactly equal and fair or in her favor. She didn’t need to be the person In Charge. She was perfectly content being left alone to figure out just how she would let go of the wall and didn’t have time to worry about which kid was getting the most attention.
- #2 had no need to whine or tattle-tell, because he was too busy skating. He let go of the wall quickly and within just a few minutes was trying out spins in the middle of the rink and trying to race me whilst holding on to those horrible crutch thingies.
I say horrible because you bend over to push yourself along with them, and it all seems so nice and easy, and then you stop and try to stand up and you are frozen in place and your back simply won’t move and you wonder if you’ll be able to get off the ice without assistance. And don’t even think about your back the next day.
- I let go of my schedule, my list of To Do’s, my projects and my phone (but not my camera!!) to be completely and totally with the babies. I let myself live with and through them. I relished their smiles and had patience for whatever came. Miracle, that!
Essentially, we reconnected. And we didn’t even know that it was exactly what we needed.
Here are five ways you can find ways to reconnect and to satisfy your craving for deep-down, belly-filled, soul-satisfying time with your family:
Make a Commitment: write it down, schedule it, remind each other of it, talk about it regularly. You don’t have to get into the rationale or psychology of “Why”. You just have to make a time and stick to it.
Be Prepared: one of the hardest things for me personally was to commit to spending those precious hours that are after-school but before-dinner away from the house. We had to speed through snack and homework in order to do our challenge and be home in time for supper, showers and sleep. I found that being prepared was essential, whether that meant having snacks and gear ready to go, or coming up with meals I could ahead of time. There is no way you can relax if you are worried about everything else you need to manage. And if you aren’t relaxed, you can’t let go, push yourself toward your challenge, or have fun.
Put Away All Electronics: my kids didn’t consider me truly ready to engage with our challenge until my computer was shut down and my phone was put down. And guess what? They were absolutely right. If I got my phone out, even for a second, not only was it difficult to put back down, but also, the kids behavior nearly instantly changed and not for the better. It didn’t take long for me to assess that the greatest part of this challenge will be me getting over me and what I perceive to be a priority. That starts with disconnecting from distraction.
Don’t Judge: People are people, and people are different. Let be what will be and take the time to fully observe and appreciate that fact. You can control people as much as you can control the weather, and NO ONE is happy if you try. It’s important to take a step back and let each person achieve in their own way. You will learn so much if you do.
For example, #1 spent 3 hours skating in circles before she had the nerve to let go of the wall. It showed me how anxious she can be, but also how methodical and analytical and independent. And also it made that huge smile and glow in her cheeks and twinkle in her eye when she achieved her challenge even sweeter. So don’t put your own expectations and demands on the event. But do offer lots of encouragement and praise. Not “You are such a great skater” more “You really impress me with your willingness to try something new”, or “isn’t it fun to just laugh together”.
Wrap It All Up: We decided to journal most days of the challenge. We won’t be writing every day, but we will be talking about what we think and how we feel and what we hope to do. We won’t talk about how we could do things better, or how we would change things. We will write about that feeling of togetherness, of joy, and of being a family that has fun.Feel free to share...