The first step to assembling a jigsaw puzzle is to spread the pieces out on the table and turn them over so I can see the shapes and colors. At that point the table is covered and it looks like there is no way for all the pieces to be assembled into a coherent picture. This is exactly where I am in planning the family schedule for Fall. I have all of these things which need to fit in somewhere, but I can’t see how. It is a bit overwhelming. And so I apply the same method I use when faced with 1000 loose puzzle pieces. I find the edge pieces and build the frame. In our lives the frame is structured around getting kids to school, meals, and bedtime. The markers which delineate space for everything else. They dictate rising in the morning and sleeping at night. Next I find a cluster of pieces which obviously fit together. I figure them out and then take the larger piece and place it within the frame. This is like the grouping snack, reading, tooth brushing, prayers, and laying down all together as parts of “bedtime.” Last I look at the spaces left and try to fill in the remaining pieces. Sometimes where they go becomes obvious after the big shapes are in place.
This week will be a frame week with a little bit of clustering. Next week will probably be the same. By the third and fourth week of school I’ll know how to fit in all the loose bits. Or I’ll know which loose bits are simply not going to fit for awhile. That’s the hard part. Some of the pieces I would like to fit into our lives simply don’t belong right now. I wish I knew which ones so I could let them go.