Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Ditching the To-Do List

I’m addicted to lists. There, I’ve said it. And not just lists for myself, but for my husband (the honey-do list), as well as lists for my children so that we may all have a well-ordered life together. We make grocery lists every Sunday. I have a birthday list/calendar hanging in my office, a home improvement list, and a back-to-school list for that ever growing list of must-have’s to be successful in school (or so is promised). I revel in checking things off of lists. I feel accomplished, productive, and even a little proud of myself.
            Then there’s the list of hopes, dreams and expectations for our children. This list ended up causing more harm than good during high school for our boys. It’s not their fault; the fault is all mine. After all, I’m the one who made the list and I realize now that I never even consulted them on what should be on that list. Silly mommy.
            Number one on the list – go to college! I believe that the best and most effective way to make your dreams come true is to start with the end in mind and then work backwards. With a destination set, then you create your map (use Google maps when necessary) and follow the directions. I noticed that once our boys were midway through high school, they each had a different destination in mind than I had originally set as the target. One wanted to go to college, but not the kind of college I thought we were shooting for. The other didn’t want to go to college at all, and I just didn’t know what to do with that. After all, why wouldn’t you want to go to college?
            Both sons, afraid they were going to disappoint their mother, became a little difficult as they tried to figure out how to tell mom they didn’t want what she wanted for them. None of us were enjoying the journey. Who knew I was that scary?
Since the destinations had changed, the ensuing list of steps needed to get there had to change too – but so did the author of the list. I could still help Christopher determine the steps to going to a local university, and I could still help Charles figure out how to become his dream of being a veterinary tech. Help being the operative term here. Guide, yes. Support, even better. Decide, determine, and dictate, well, not anymore.

Thought Poke

Remember that even though the plans God has for each of us are meant to prosper us and not harm us; to give us hope and a future, it doesn’t mean that the ones we have for our children are just as beneficial. Reconsider the plans you have. They may have to be adjusted.