Synchronous or Asynchronous?

We recently asked our daughters what the meaning of synchronous is. They confidently responded “Synchronous is time on Zoom and Asynchronous is schoolwork off of Zoom.” Then, we probed a little more, and asked if there were any other meanings to the word. They thought for a few minutes and their minds were pretty secure in “Distance Learning Synchronous Vocabulary.”


What does synchronous look like in your household?

Then, I paused for a moment and thought about what the word Synchronous means. Together, harmony, working as one, these were some of the words that came to mind.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Synchronous is “happening, existing, or arising at precisely the same time.” Some synonyms for the word are “coexist, concurrent, simultaneous, and coincidental.”


Hmm, how in sync are we with our body, mind, work, and relationships? It’s a huge question to ask of ourselves.


One year ago, when our schools were closed due to Covid-19, I felt like my world had been turned upside down. I didn’t know the language of distance learning teaching, technology was a foreign object for me to utilize as the main mode for teaching, Balancing my home and work life, creating learning environments for each one of us, it all seemed like an impossible challenge. . . I remember telling Scott “this feels like when we brought Hannah home from the hospital. I had no idea how to be a great mom.”


The overwhelming feeling of being first time parents and navigating through a sea of mistakes to help our child thrive was a similar feeling when we brought everyone home for work and learning. But when Hannah had her first birthday, I had settled into the new groove and reality of motherhood, my new roles, and how to find some balance.


Now, one year later. . . the Iler family has become quite synchronous with our daily agenda, our roles and responsibilities, the nuances of everyday life while all living and working in the same house.


So. . .with all of that being said, the educational world has loosely used the language “synchronous and asynchronous” during distance learning. I know that even when my students are on zoom, many are not learning at precisely the same time, coexisting as a learning family, or even simultaneous with their thought processes.”


If these are children, how synchronous are adults with the many roles we play? Are you present when you are at a work meeting? Are you focused when your child is telling you random facts about dinosaurs? Are you even comprehending when your spouse/partner is trying to have a thoughtful conservation with you?


I feel like we can all say that some of the time or even 50% of the time we are “asynchronous” . . . we are not simultaneous with our thinking, we are not in sync with our values, our relationships, due to circumstances or stresses that come our way.


So how do we achieve this presence of being present and living fully, not just existing?

I wish I had the magic wand, the secret recipe, or like Mary Poppins would say “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!”


What I have been trying to do lately is at the end of the day, when the chatter of our children is quiet, the animals are asleep, the hum of the dishwasher has finished, I ask myself

“What brought joy to my heart today?

What did not bring joy?

How can I continue to cultivate those moments of peacefulness in my heart?”


Erin Iler finds harmony in nature.

Be ready, because when you try out this exercise, you might find that you are essentially weeding some areas of the garden that you didn’t realize you had neglected. You also might find that some parts of your garden you might not try to cultivate anymore.


My physical, dormant garden in my backyard is ready for replanting for the spring garden. I think I have made a truce with my squirrel friend Buddy. I respect that in the fall time he is hungry and preparing for the winter. My fall garden is not going to succeed, because that little guy was using all of my plants to help him prepare for the winter months. This tug of war was causing me to not even enjoy gardening because I was so frustrated with the little guy eating the fruits of my labor.

It sounds silly, but every time I looked at the garden, I was angry and frustrated. I let that “Fall Garden” idea slip away. It wasn’t going to work for me. However, I do not feel defeated. I know that something is waiting for me.


Spring is a time to prioritize what you want to grow.
Because in the springtime, it’s another story. I know that my garden is going to flourish and my energy will be put to good use.
So, think about your own life situations right now. . . Which roles do you need to cultivate, which ones do you need to weed, and which ones are you completely Asynchronus with?
I can’t wait to bring out the fullness and become synchronous with my mind and heart.


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