Sunday, August 7, 2011

When Schedules Collide

Oh, there was fun in this house last week.
Oh, yes.

It came in the form of (brace yourself, here): a schedule!

But I guess it really started with a job offer. Two job offers, actually. For me.

I wasn't even on the lookout for a job. Being a mom, doing homey-type-things, and working in ministry seems to fill up my schedule rather nicely. I wasn't opposed to the idea of a job, but I wouldn't want just any job. In December, I will have my MEd., and it's been a couple years since I really got myself involved in anything theatre-related. For the last four months or so, I've offered up the simple prayer, "God, I would love to have some sort of teaching experience," and more recently the prayer, "God, I miss theatre. Please use my gifts in some way."

And BOOM. Job offers poured in.
Ok, not exactly. But there were two.

I'll spare you the nitty-gritty details about the whole week, but in the end, we decided to explore the idea of a 10-hour-per-week theatre education job. When the subject was first broached, I brushed off the idea.

Until Elliott showed me The Schedule.

There it was: a beautiful, detailed, hour-by-hour, day-by-day schedule.
And it turned out that I could take the job after all! But it didn't stop there!
I was excited. So excited, in fact, that I immediately went up and made my own schedule.

(You do realize that I was so excited about the schedule-making, right? The job too, sure, but really, it was about the schedule. I love organizing things. I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page about my nerdiness. Are we all there? Ok. Continue.)

So that was, like, the best day last week.

Then the rest of my housemates brought their schedules to our house meeting, only to realize to our horror (dun dun DUNNNNNNN):

We don't have room in our combined schedules for house meetings this fall.

If you've been following the blog (or if you live in a house with more than... yourself), you're probably aware that communication is key for the survival and happiness of all. In order for the house to effectively communicate, we've found it important to have weekly house meetings. But with our schedules this fall, it's utterly impossible.

So what do we do?

1) Talk About It with Anyone: If something bothers us, we've promised to communicate it to the group. If there's no way that the four of us are together at one time, then the person will communicate to whomever is around (so if there are three of us at dinner instead of four, at least three people will be on the same page, and the fourth person will be filled in later).

2) Accept Responsibility: If something is communicated to a person, the person accepts responsibility and takes action. So for instance, if people in the house notice I never empty the dishwasher, Zack might say something to Elliott if he doesn't happen to see me very often. I'll take the note and will start doing my share of the dishwater-emptying.

3) Aim to See Each Other in Other Ways: Even if we don't have official time carved out of our schedules for the whole house to be together, we've planned "together-time" in other ways. Jocelyn and I always will do meal-planning and the grocery list on Fridays; Elliott and Zack will always go food shopping on Saturdays. These times are carved out of our schedules so we ensure that we are still operating as a community.

In addition, as individual families we have also made time for each other a priority. We think it's more important that each couple gets a date night/family night over a community time. So within each of our schedules, we have planned weekly date nights/family nights for our own families. If you are married and do not yet have a specific date night set aside each week, I would highly encourage you to do so. It's very easy to get so caught up in the every day that you forget to deliberately (dare I say, intentionally?) make time for your spouse/family.

We realize that we're not the only household that finds it hard to combine schedules. What do you do in your family to ensure that everyone communicates and relationships continue to thrive?

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