children • education • parents
relationships • marriage • the elderly


What’s Wrong with the Cozi App?

July 10, 2017 by

boy in PJs

It is not easy to live in the moment. How I wish for the ability to focus completely on the here and now instead of galloping ahead of my present circumstances. Do I really stop to fully experience the delights and sorrows I encounter each passing minute? My fascination with order and time management often hijacks the present moment.

The evening I bathed my four-year-old son, and then sent him to say good-night to my parents – his Opa and Oma – is a good example of overscheduling. When my son returned, I expected a tired, peaceful boy. Instead I received a very wakeful, sticky, and belly-laughing individual.

Dad squeezed my shoulder and his laughing eyes met my dismal look. “Ach Mutsi, enjoy him!” The handoff from my father to me was brief, much quicker than the time it took to discover that at his grandparents, my son had bounced on the double bed, eaten quantities of red jellybeans, and played, “Where’s the Fox?” The information came out as short phrases between bursts of silliness and wild somersaults.

We started the bedtime rituals over: removal of sugar from hands and teeth, calming lullabies, and copious cups of water. “Boo!” and, “Where da fox?” continually interrupted my efforts. Our quiet evening was most definitely over; no time for the extras I’d planned once he was asleep.

Did I experience a deep satisfaction at this turn of events? No! But you can bet that my son and Opa and Oma did! My dad’s message to my racing mind? Appreciation, not organization.

I have not yet found the key to slowing down my mental schedule, but I believe there is a blessing if I do. Two age groups tend to live in real time a lot better than my middle age bracket. When our youngest wakes up from his afternoon nap, he thinks it is a new day. When asked about the future or the past, he’s quite hazy in his answers, and ends up tugging on my clothing, wishing for a response to something much more pressing like food or stories. I’ve met older people who are the same. They want you to sit down and get comfortable – they have no plans or checklists to complete in the coming hours. Their pressing needs usually involve food or stories too.

It is essential to listen, experience, and live the joy and – if there be –  sorrow of the moment. 

To be truthful, the middle-aged have a fair amount to do, and if I am not organized there can be instant home-front mayhem. We can’t all sit around eating and telling stories because someone has to shop, cook, set the table, do the dishes, and sweep the floor. And for the minutes in between there’s the dash to the library, and the explaining to the librarian why the books feel greasy and smell like chocolate chip cookies. However, if reducing my life to a to-do list appeals to me as attractive or modern, then it’s time to reconsider.

Scheduling a mother’s day is repulsive and counterproductive. The family organizer app, Cozi, that promises to “make life easier for you and your family” only feeds the panicked recognition that we are all “crazy-busy.” Just a little digital scheduling and we are promised life – simplified.

Lest I sound judgmental: a confession. My own mind continually prompts me with messages and reminders.

In the middle of a good meal… when should I put the coffee on for dessert?

Playing games outside with our children at dusk… who should head to the shower first, and who said earlier they needed help with homework?

Talking with a friend… really, we were going to invite Alice for tea on Sunday to share a birthday cake.

Or worst of all: During church service… Do I need to pick up the clean clothes from the communal laundry – did the stain come out of that white shirt, what was he thinking when he painted that old park bench?

Woah, hang on a minute! It is essential to listen, experience, and live the joy and (if there be) sorrow of the moment. Fast-forwarding life doesn’t bring satisfaction any more than endless rewinding. Easier said than done, but isn’t living in love the key to living in the moment?

When Martha rushed around doing housework as told in Luke 10: 38–42, Jesus pointed out that Mary chose the better portion by sitting and listening. I can imagine that Mary hung on to every word Jesus said, and time stood still. I am like Martha though, dashing along domestically, missing Jesus.

We do not need to be “crazy busy” if we hang on to the words of Jesus, and find them shining in those around us. We can truly enjoy the moment. The past and the future might be hazy, but we’ll take pleasure in the now. Nothing like a game of “Where’s the Fox” and a handful of red jellybeans to bring life back into focus.


About the author

Dori Moody holding a cat

Dori Moody

Dori Moody lives at the Danthonia Bruderhof in Australia. She and her husband Henry nurture four children, one cat, and...

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