Though the temperatures here in Austin hover in the high 90s and the calendar still shows a few more weeks of summer remaining, it sort of feels like fall around here. Since school started up nearly 2 weeks ago, the shift into new regimens and routines and rituals has begun.

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It’s been sometimes easy and sometimes hard in our house. Two kids that are going to school like their teachers. That’s easy. One that is homeschooling likes her schedule. That’s easy too. The wee one wonders where the kids are going every day and he misses them. That’s hard. Bedtime comes at the time when just 2 weeks ago we were heading to the cold springs for an evening dip. That’s hard to give up. But easy to fall asleep when the day has begun so early. And speaking of the day beginning so early, well, that’ hard and doesn’t really seem to ever get easier. No matter how long we do it. If we had our way, school would begin at 8:45. That would feel natural. But 7:45 never. So that’s hard. We’re biking to school everyday which came about because the van was in the shop. That seemed hard to be without.  But now we;re biking everyday because we like it. It feels easy. Way easier than trying to navigate the sea of anxious cars trying to beat the bell in the morning. And as the days pass, each day we remember something we knew last school year but forgot over the summer. Some are easy. Some are hard. Some we get used to. Some we don’t.

But the thing that keeps us going, the thing that keeps us from feeling out of control, the thing that keeps us connected or at least brings us back to connection when we might otherwise have lost it or when we actually DO lose it, is one simple question: Is this working for us? We’re asking it on many levels right now. And though we don’t have the completely clear answers, just asking the question is the very beginning of bringing us to where we want and need to be.

So, as you return to school schedules or job shifts or money issues or playdates or  parties or chore charts or bedtime schedules or whatever stuff is a part of your family life, ask yourself that one question: Is this working for us? It’ll help get you where you want to be. Seriously.