All kinds of thoughts float in and out of our heads all day long. So why do some seem to stick around longer than others?
Often I’ll wonder something, like maybe “why can’t we ever get started with homeschooling before 11:00 am?” And then I’ll chance across a post about some Mom’s success story and her newly polished schedule where she homeschools six children and everyone is up and done with chores by 8:00 am!
It was just a brief headline: 5 Steps to the Perfect Schedule. So, I clicked on it. And bam! I’m thrown into the world of doubt and distracted from doing the work I had planned for the day! And the doubt sticks with me all day, all week!
Here’s my solution: don’t click! Don’t read that article before my day begins. Let go of all doubt and distraction so that I can be present with my children. Stay present to this day.
If I want to work on improving our schedule, or anything for that matter, I do better if I focus on the issue for a bit one afternoon and brainstorm possible solutions. Talk with my family. (Once children are over age 9 or especially age 12, I like to include them in the conversations and brainstorming.) Then we try out new ideas for a week or so. let them play out. Talk again about how it went and tweak the plan or create a new one.
I was somewhere in the middle of this whole muddle inside my own head (we hadn’t gotten to the talk and brainstorm together part yet) when last night at 10:00 pm, my 15 year old daughter plops into the chair beside me to share her thoughts on her morning routine. How about if she picks 10:00 am as a start time? And before that, she’ll get in a run and piano practice? “OK,” I say, “let’s give that a try and see how it goes” trying to temper how ecstatic I was that this was all her idea, with no prompting from me! (She wasn’t even aware of the muddle that was going on inside my head!)
And then I shared with her about the research that says teens need more sleep and since their brains are so active at night, that sleep needs to be in the morning. And that even some high schools, including the one in our own district, are moving their start times a little later in the morning. A sweet exchange, no pressure or judgement.
The lesson here for this Mom? Transitions are about having a plan, giving things a try and seeing how it goes, then making appropriate adjustments. And if I get hung up on how it has to be or what’s wrong with everything or what’s wrong with me, then I am not contributing to a positive outcome! It really does all work out.
How do you let go of distraction and doubt?