Take a moment to consider if you had more room in your life. What would that mean for you? How would you like to spend your time? Who would you like to see more of? Think of the people who matter most to you: children, partner, parents, siblings, friends, relatives, neighbors or people who you have yet to meet. How might you make more room in your life for these relationships?
Marcia Marra a mother of three and resident of Ridgewood, New Jersey recognized that her family was overscheduled and exhausted from constantly running from one activity to the next. Instead of just accepting this as the norm in today’s fast-paced world, she gathered together community leaders, parents, professionals, clergy, and school representatives. The committee read and discussed national research that established the potential negative effects of over-scheduling on childhood development, family cohesion, and the health of adults.
In 2002, the entire town of Ridgewood declared a Family Night called “Ready, Set, Relax!” with no sports, no homework, no meetings, chores, or classes. Instead families enjoyed a meal together, played games or just relaxed. The idea was that having one night in which the whole town shared this experience would motivate people to find ways to slow down and reduce unnecessary pressures from families and children. This was such a positive initiative that this is now an annual event.
What is even more significant is that reports of this event spread across the country. The community effort spoke to a longing that many Americans have to foster a balance between work, school, family time, unscheduled time, and outside enrichment activities.
I really like this idea! This year, my resolution includes monthly gatherings with friends and family. The first one is this weekend. Ready, set…relax!