One of my greatest joys in my life is baking. There is something truly satisfying about mixing what looks like random ingredients together into a bowl, throwing it into an oven, and after a certain amount of time has passed, pulling out of the oven something delicious and maybe a little indulgent. I love all types of baking: savory, sweet, quick, yeasted. The best part about baked goods is that it’s really meant to be shared, so I get to practice hospitality too. Win, win in my book. 🙂
As my children have grown up and watched me bake in the kitchen, they have wanted to participate with me. This has been difficult for me. In many ways, it feels like an invasion of my privacy. Baking has been a sacred past time for myself and having to share the moment is mentally and physically draining. I have to slow down, teach technique, and answer the billions of questions that pour of their little mouths. The messes increase exponentially as spills occur over and over again.
But as chaos increases, so does the joy. The kids get excited to spend quality time with me. Even though it may not be “school,” they are learning about measuring, counting, chemistry, and cooking. We still get that satisfying end result–it may not be as pretty–of deliciousness that is even more delightful to the palate as there were more hands to prepare it.
For the month of August, I’ve been in transition. Summer vacation is winding down and school season begins. My little Jazzercise business is not at full schedule, but we’re at least up and running. As I juggle being housekeeper, grocery shopper, cook, fitness instructor and business owner, now I have to add on other roles such as school bus, enrichment coordinator/teacher, school volunteer, and soccer fan. It’s mind boggling!
Yesterday, I taught a Jazzercise class, and it should have been fun and easy. I wasn’t doing any new songs. I had this set made for awhile and was prepared, but my brain just didn’t want to function. Every song was laborious. It was so frustrating to hit a mental brick wall and not know why I was on the struggle bus.
Conveniently enough, I had planned a little mini vacay for the kids today and tomorrow. We head out to Great Wolf Lodge (thanks for the ridiculous sale!) for the night, and I’ll get to decompress for a whole 24 hours as I make sure my youngest doesn’t drown at a water park. There will be no baking, no studying music, no cleaning, nothing. Just sitting, watching my kids, and the occasional water ride. Maybe it won’t be entirely relaxing, but it will be a nice little mental break.
Sometimes we need that. We need a rest, for the body and for the mind.
My thoughts are with all of the families out there as we deal with the repercussions of this pandemic. Any type of virtual learning/homeschooling is a challenge, and not everyone is up or built for it. These times require us to dig a little deeper, pray a little harder, and perhaps let go of other things to be able to add on what life is throwing at us. Just like baking with my kids, it may not exactly be how you envisioned this path, but it’s all about that end result.