Cancelled: A Letter to West Franklin
West Franklin Family,
If we’ve heard the word once, we’ve heard several million times since March.
- Remainder of the 2019-2020 school year – Cancelled.
- College basketball tournaments – Cancelled.
- College baseball season – Cancelled.
- Vacation Bible School – Cancelled.
- Prom – Cancelled.
- Graduation – Cancelled.
- Elective surgeries – Cancelled.
- Summer camps – Cancelled.
- My diet – Cancelled.
- Concerts – Cancelled.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Cancelled. (It’s true. It will not be live this year.)
- Weddings – Cancelled.
- West Franklin Family Gathering – Cancelled.
So. Many. Things. Have. Been. Cancelled. This. Year. Add to this the reality that we live in a cancel culture due to various societal tensions. Cancel. Cancel. Cancel. There’s a reason this word is one letter removed from the horrific word Cancer. It’s become it’s own disease this year. And I am tired of it.
However, I have noticed something recently. Over the past two weeks or so. It has crept up without me even realizing it. Things that have been cancelled are beginning to start back up again. Football practices and games are back on the calendar. Soccer practices and games are scheduled again. After school meetings and rehearsals are happening. The students are meeting on Wednesday nights (outside) at the church. Groups are gathering outside at parks.
Know what I have noticed? The time I have so thoroughly enjoyed at home in the late afternoon/evenings are beginning to dwindle away again. The unhurried times before and after supper are flying away. The “nowhere to be” feeling on Saturday morning’s are evaporating again. The “I don’t have to wait up for one of my children to be dropped off” feeling is passing away into the air somewhere.
What was cancelled a few days ago is beginning to be un-cancelled. Though normal as we once knew it is dead and gone, a new normal is emerging fast and with fury.
Know what scares me? That I will drift back into this new normal having learned NOTHING from the past six months. I am fearful that I will just let the expectations of extra-curricula “stuff” (that has been cancelled over the last six months and allowed me to slow down) will creep back in unnoticed and unwanted. I want my children to to be involved in school and church and sports and stuff. I am going to encourage it and support it. But more than that? I want unhurried time with them. Unhurried time I enjoyed when everything was, well, cancelled.
So here is a challenge I have for us, West Franklin: Before the un-cancelling of society happens, what did you learn about yourself and those around you when everything was cancelled? And before the un-cancelling of society happens, what do you need to cancel from your situation so that the last 6 months aren’t wasted? What do you need to cancel on your own to protect yourself and your relationships from going back to the unhealthy past?
- Maybe you need to cancel being gone every night and commit to having at least one night at home – with everyone – per week?
- Maybe you need to cancel your travel schedule and evaluate what can honestly be done via Zoom?
- Maybe you need to cancel extra activities for each child and pick one sport/activity per kid?
- Maybe you need to cancel a TV show during supper so you can hear about one another’s day?
- Maybe you need to cancel something on the weekends so you can date your spouse?
- Maybe you need to cancel that extra project so you can do life unhurried?
- Bottom line: What have you learned during the cancellations that are priorities to you, and what do you need to cancel to keep them in line?
I don’t know what they are for you. But before everything un-cancels itself, why not go ahead and cancel those things that will sap the life and vitality out of your soul and relationships? If you don’t do it now, I promise it will be done for you by someone else. And whoever that person is will NOT be looking out for your good.
More than likely, other events and plans will be cancelled this year. COVID-19 is still here and acting with an unwanted vengeance. There are some things you and I cannot control. But for those things we can, let’s go ahead and cancel whatever it is that prevents our being able to thrive.
Longing to Thrive with You,