As a classically-trained pianist, I went through many years of music theory instruction. On an introductory level, much time was spent learning notes and beats to perfect the art of reading and playing music. Rhythm is a word I have reflected on quite a bit lately. I believe there are many metaphors in life that can parallel musical rhythm.
When looking at beats that make up a rhythm, a staccato note is short and quick, while a whole note is held out for four beats. Similarly, there are many types of people, personalities, and preferences, so of course the way our rhythms in life are carried out may have a tremendous number of variations, like music notes. It is a good thing to have different notes in our lives as we learn and grow from each other. At the same time, seeking to be healthy and whole individuals requires us to periodically ask ourselves about the rhythms of our own life. Is life chaotic –like one staccato note after the other? Scattered? Calm? Lethargic? How about the rhythm of our homes? Our families?
When it comes to our lives and families, it can be helpful to take some time and zoom out to get a bird’s eye view of the rhythms that make up the sheet of music. While there is no “right” rhythm, the most important concept is we can be the ones to set the rhythm rather than letting other things dictate it. We have the ability to change the notes and the beat as we see fit, just like a composer. If you know what the values and non-negotiables are for yourself or your family, allow those to then guide the rhythm of your home and life decisions.
Especially as we roll into summer, schedules and calendars get busy and loaded up. Take time now to compose a rhythm through the summer that will end with you looking back and saying, “The cadence of this summer was just what I needed.”
Don’t let the rhythm get you!