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Week 43: Get Organized

Although this summer wasn't what we'd anticipated, it was still a great summer. Spencer got to spend many hours on the soccer field, Harrison made new friends everywhere he went, and Daniel transformed from a baby into a little boy. The best part of all this was that I had a front row seat to absolutely everything

What with the evenings drawing in and the temperatures starting to drop, as well as the process of getting the kids ready to return to school, it's a sure sign that summer is officially winding down. While I'm extremely thankful for all our local school district has done to prepare for the upcoming school year, I also realize that no matter what they do, things just aren't going to feel normal.

The good news is that we live in a "green state" and our COVID numbers continue to remain low, therefore the initial goal is to have the kids back in the classroom as much as possible. In order to achieve that goal, the school district has opted for a gradual transition back to the classroom in what's being called a Transitional Hybrid Model. This model has the kids separated into two cohorts based on the first letter of their last name, with each cohort taking it in turns to either attend school or learn virtually from home.

Despite having the utmost confidence in our school district, I couldn't help but wonder if the time frame of the model would be extended, or worse yet, if we would find ourselves exclusively virtual learning if COVID cases spiked again. To help me stay focused, I pushed all the negative thoughts out of my mind, embraced the reality of our circumstances, and got myself organized.

It wasn’t long before I realized the Fall semester was going to be totally different from the spring semester in that there was going to be a distinct shift from asynchronous learning to synchronized learning, with a much greater emphasis on live streaming. With this in mind, I realized it would be prudent to have the boys in separate rooms so they could talk freely and wouldn’t be a distraction to one another. The other piece to this puzzle was that neither workspace could contaminate my business center, which had been firing on all cylinders in the boy's bedroom of the last several months.

To cut a long story short, I set Spencer up at a desk in my Mother's bedroom while Harrison took up residence at a desk in the dining room. I was particularly pleased with Harrison's workspace, which we had fun decorating with various pictures and even his name. Spencer was much less interested in decorations and more concerned about privacy and quiet, which made my Mother's bedroom the perfect option for him as he could go in and shut the door behind him.

For the first time since the plan was released, I was starting to feel a bit more prepared for the first day of virtual learning. It’s crazy to me how something so simple as setting up a desk can make such a difference to my mindset; I was not only getting organized but I was actually clearing my head of unnecessary negativity. The kids workspace literally became a beacon of positive energy that allowed me to put my best foot forward into the new, albeit different, school year.

We can’t control everything around us, but we can control our mindset and how we perceive things. If you ever find yourself in a position where negativity and worry have taken over, I encourage you to create opportunities within the scenario to help shift yourself to a more positive mindset.

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