Intention v. school-year calendar: It's a battle

We measure our years in a variety of ways.

As the mother of one entering her kinder-year, a high school junior and a college freshman (yes, I just closed my eyes and gasped!) — and as a college professor by trade — I find it terribly difficult to keep from getting swept away by our busy and varied school-year schedules.

Already I've amassed a week's worth of laundry, a pile of paperwork — and a pile of textbooks and syllabi — to tackle.

It's endless to-do list time.

And tonight is my last Shabbat with our son before he heads to college.

While I'm proud of his success, I will miss his company. And packing up for his first dorm stay is a separate challenge all together.

In an effort to be intentional, we set aside the numerous retail sales-driven college packing lists and attempted to pack only what we felt he would really need.

Having spent the summer coaching lacrosse at the URJ 6 Points Sports Academy gave him a head start on deciding what to take with him to his freshman dorm room, how to stay organized — and how to live harmoniously with a roommate.

(And I was able to dig out my small U.S. Armed Forces Siddur to add to his Tanakh and Kindle).

Still having him away again weighs heavily on my heart.

To that end, I will need faith, and the rest of Shabbat, in the months to come — and I've made a commitment to keep the Sabbath in sight.

We are not frum, but we observe Shabbat as a day of rest and torah study and prayer.

And as we enter the season of over-scheduling and dueling demands. I'm renewing my commitment to that one day — Shabbat — Friday's sundown to Saturday's sundown.

Setting a goal publicly is one of the best ways for me to stay motivated.

If you have a goal and would like a great read about staying motivated, read one of my favorite blogs, Zenhabits, click here:

May you all enjoy a day of rest and a new school season of blessings amidst personal and worldly challenge,



Amy A. Ritchart is grateful her Kinder-girl had a fantastic week and is both anxious and excited for the many more family milestones to come. Comment, like and share this post using the tools below. E-mail her at, find her on Facebook at, and on Twitter @thekavanahlife.