Kaleidoscope Days

Written on April 7, 2020…approximately 3 weeks into quarantine…now a year later, as a family we continue to practice building kaliedoscope days, or being mindful of how we are spending our time and the choices we are making. It is a work in progress.

Right now our days are changed.  I have spent the last three weeks confined at home, taking ALL this in, and feeling overwhelmed. I am the parent of teenagers and for them being stuck at home, missing their school and academics, their sports, their time with friends…all of that is difficult, sad and worrisome.

As time passes I am becoming aware of a chance to build and learn as we adapt to our new situation. We have an opportunity to focus on our mindfulness, specifically becoming aware about how we are spending our time, and how that impacts us emotionally.

Kaleidoscopes have endless beauty within a confined space.  They are filled with a variety of colored pieces which contribute to a visual display. A kaleidoscope can twist or shift the perspective of the shapes and small pieces within, transforming what is in it to be seen differently, to change.  A new beautiful pattern with each turn.

Like a kaleidoscope we have the ability to shift, turn or twist our perspective to see the choices available to us, and the beauty within us. We have the ability to color our days.

For me I can pass a day scrolling through social media and watching Netflix.  It can happen in the blink of an eye.  At the end of those days I feel depleted, dull, I lack peace.  Those days happen.  For my children it looks more like video games, screen time, time shut in their rooms alone.  These are time eaters that dull what we see and feel, our kaleidoscope is mostly a single color.  The excuse is I am stuck at home, limited and that excuse can make staying dulled that much easier.  This is when we need to turn or twist our perspective just like a kaleidoscope can.  Shake things around, add more color (variety of activity), and rearrange our pieces (chunks of time) into something more fulfilling and beautiful.

 I am aware that if I purposely schedule time for exercise, journal writing, family time and chores into my day I feel much more at peace and motivated for what is to come. I can ask myself these questions: “What can I do with what I have?  How creative can I be?  What can I choose to do that is productive and helps me to feel better?”

This is a time that we can help our children build that mindfulness, and their ownership in their choices and time management.  We can ask them if they are building variety into their day. They can practice becoming aware of what their body, mind and heart feel like as a result of the actions they choose to take.

We can help our children, and ourselves, to start asking the question, “Am I creating kaleidoscope days?” We can also extend that question outwardly asking, “Am I contributing to helping others have kaleidoscope days?” We can notice, and be mindful, that the patterns and pieces that make one person’s day feel full and beautiful are different from another’s. We all have our own unique rhythms and interests. 

 My hope is that my children will explore what makes them feel fulfilled, content and connected as we face the changes, and challenges during this pandemic. I want to help them practice being aware of what their body, mind and heart feel like as a result of their actions that they have chosen.

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