Fitting Ourselves into Our Busy Schedules

Do you ever feel like you need a coordinator for your family’s busy schedule? If your family is like ours, you certainly do. I am told that one day we will really miss it and I’m certain that this is the truth — but for right now, it is busy. Our schedule includes phone calls, meetings, committees, homework, praise team practice, visits, sports, music lessons, work etc.

There is, however, the rare night when nothing is on and we can connect as a family. On a night like that, Winona and I will have a cup of tea and settle into a conversation about how things are going for both of us. We typically talk about how we are doing personally and as a couple, about how our kids are doing and what is coming up and who is doing what. And then our conversation moves on to the other priorities in our life, like the institutions and people we care about most: church, schools, family, and friends.

Part of talking about the organizations we love is coming to terms with what our involvement means. We are members of a church and of schools that often depend on our talents to accomplish their missions. And if I am honest, when I see an invitation to attend a school function or a church meeting, it isn’t my first response to say, “Yes.” I’m more likely to think, “Do I have to?” or “I’m really busy.” Some things we go to and some things we don’t, and clearly as the Principal of one of the organizations we care deeply about, attending functions isn’t much of an option at times. This, not surprisingly, often adds to the “zoo-itude” of our schedules.

For us, healthy boundaries are key to the sanity of our household. Sometimes we have to be able to say no to what we might feel is an obligatory event or commitment. Sometimes we also need to let go and let others lead, remembering that we don’t have to do everything for everyone all the time for every organization. Sometimes we forget that any kind of “god complex” is both unnecessary and unhealthy.

For our family, when we are in our sweet spot, we are attending things because we feel invited rather than obligated and because we are satisfied that our voice matters to the bigger picture and the broader conversation. These are the type of events that will capture our attention as a family, and these are events that become part of our priority conversations on those rare evenings when our schedule is free.

Maybe this resonates with you and maybe it doesn’t, but I am sharing all of the above as the context for an invitation to our upcoming Town Hall meeting about the renewal of our facilities. This isn’t an obligation; it is an invitation. This meeting will be a time for you to be heard, to share some insights, to reflect and cast vision with us about what our school facility can and should become into the future. We know that if you attend, you are making room in your schedule to invest time in HDCH — and we are grateful.

At the same time, if February 15 is your only free night of that week, staying home and connecting with your family might just be the best option. We understand this, so we will do our best to communicate the message to you at other times and in other ways about why and what we are hoping to do with our building.

Whether you join us February 15, or whether you participate in the conversation in other ways, I hope you’ll engage with us. Your voice in important in shaping the future — for the students who attend now, and for those who will be here during the next 60 years.
Nathan Siebenga