3 Ways to Avoid the Dreaded After-School-Starts Letdown

Lisa Cherry —  August 12, 2014

balloon down basket 6162855043_784e0baf76_z
In one sense I hate to see summer go.... But in the other sense I love the thrill of new beginnings.  

We lift off into the new school year with high hopes of wide vistas, great adventures, and new triumphs.

But after 26 of these August rituals, I must confess to something rather unpleasant.

Long about 10 days after the start of school, I will experience a terrible letdown when my romanticized excitement wears off!   

We find ourselves back on the ground, wondering how to regain our momentum.

For no matter how many fresh new supplies I buy, we STILL seem to fall into some of the same old weakness traps we had last May!

Just yesterday I was making my own personal reality check when a new thought hit my mind.

balloon above landscape 85922275_758ba03b97_zLisa, what if this year you disarmed that overwhelmed, letdown feeling by making some new decisions?

What if instead of trying to pretend the "old giants" are somehow magically gone, you just went ahead and faced them now. And then built a new plan.

So here is what I did yesterday that caused me to wake up this morning much more prepared for the August ride.

3 Ways to Avoid the After-School-Starts Letdown

1. Remember
Go ahead and let your mind turn back to last April and May. I know the summer months are a welcome oasis (which is why I am NOT a fan of year-round school!)

But go ahead and remember the developmental challenges and stinky attitudes. But this time, do not let yourself fall into the familiar emotional pit. Instead use each one of those memories as a springboard for an honest conversation with the Lord.

2. Dig deeper
Here was my prayer:

Lord, what is really going on here in this issue? What is the root immaturity or wrong thinking pattern that I am not seeing?  How do I need to help my child grow out of this state? What fresh insight or perspective or tool do I need right now? How can I map out on paper a strategy and vision for my leadership over this problem?

Here are a few of the good things that happened for me yesterday during this step:

  1. I developed fresh motherly compassion.
  2. I began to see myself as a leader... instead of a victim.
  3. I discovered how one of my kid's strengths could be used to cover over a weakness.
  4. I found a website that taught me a whole new insight into one of the developmental issues that has been causing our household some stress.
  5. I made a plan to actually teach some new life skills to my kids, instead of just nagging them about how they are missing those life skills!

3. Do it now....don't wait

It suddenly hit me that for some of my plans, we did not need to wait for the official school start date! We just needed Mom to be like Nike and Just do it!

Maybe you can sense what I mean here. No fanfare. No grand announcement. No ceremony. Just a quiet stepping into what I already knew I needed to do.

And guess what? It worked! We took our first step toward greater maturity. And first steps are really what a good school start is all about anyway, isn't it?

I went to bed last night confident and at peace.  My Father God is so good to me! I am ready to take on the new year with a smile!

Image#1 : messycupcakes “Hot air balloon” via Flickr Creative Commons
License:   Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Image #2: Michael J. Slekzak (JW)  “Blue Moon over Fairbanks Ranch”via Flickr Creative Commons
License:  Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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