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Caught Off Guard

  • Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Will and I had a meeting with his guidance counselor last week. We talked about what Will wants for his future, what we were doing about it, and what else we could do about it. As you may recall, Will wants to be a video game designer. So, I told the counselor that, as far as electives were concerned, we were focusing on art and computer classes.

She gave us some great news! Next year, Will can take graphic design and game design (a new class!) for the full year! I found that very exciting and Will was psyched, too. But, while we were still talking along this vein, Will dropped a bomb on me.

“I also need to learn to speak Japanese, because I’ll need to speak Japanese when I work for Nintendo Tokyo.”

I sat in stunned silence. We’ve talked before about how Nintendo is a Japanese company. We’ve talked about how, to work for Nintendo, he’d have to learn Japanese and he’d have to move across the world. Never once did he say, “I want to do that!”

Now, it’s not that I don’t want to encourage my son to pursue his dreams. I do that every chance I get! Nor is it that I think, just because I’m his mother, that I have a right to dictate what those dreams should and should not be. I honestly don’t.

But, honestly, I am a mom!!! You don’t suddenly drop this kind of bomb on me when I’m in a meeting with someone we’ve just met. Give me time to process the idea! I mean, it’s Japan!!!

Now, to be fair, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Japan…except that it’s almost the exact opposite of us on a globe. A small thing, really, until it’s to scale. Of all the reasons I can think of why this is a bad idea, mostly it comes down to this: It’s too far away for me!!!

I am getting used to the idea. I’ve done a good job resisting the temptation to talk him out of it. I haven’t even brought it up (to him), because I know I would try to talk him out of it. But it’s a struggle. New York City? Fine. L.A.? Fine. But Tokyo? I’m not ready for that!

Day by Day

  • Posted on June 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I am a planner at heart. I like to look into the possible futures and map out a plan to navigate through those futures in the hopes that I will achieve the future I want.

There are two fundamental problems with this:

  1. I am not actually in control of what happens in my present, let alone in my future.
  2. I am not very good at predicting how much energy I will have to devote to a given set of tasks on a given day, which makes it hard to plan for the variables.

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus Christ says, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” (Matthew 6:34).  I do take thought for the morrow. I can’t help it; at least, I do not yet know how to help it. I worry, I plan, and I strategize. Unfortunately, all my plans and strategies are for naught. No matter how much I plan, I cannot control the future. Sometimes my worries come to pass, but even those don’t mean what I expected.

One variable that has long been out of my control is my sleep pattern, rather my lack of a sleep pattern. I’m working on this in the present, and in the future I expect help from sleep specialists. In the meantime, I’m not sure when I’ll be asleep and when I’ll be awake on any given day. All I’m really sure about is that I won’t get enough sleep no matter what I do. Even if I do get enough sleep on a particular day, the pattern won’t last out the entire week.

But, for this day, I am awake during the day. I’ll probably take a nap, because I woke up at 3 a.m., but at least I’ll be awake for part of the day. I’m committed to taking this day as it comes. I do have a plan – there’s work I want to get done – but I’m not going to let my plans interfere with the rhythm God sets for my day.

Living life day-by-day is a bit different for me, but if that’s what I need to do to get healthy, then that’s what I’ll do. And I’m not going to apologize for it or feel guilty over the things I don’t get done. This day will be enough for this day. Tomorrow and all the tomorrows after it will just have to take care of themselves.

Surprise!

  • Posted on August 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

My husband’s parents have a cottage with private lake access. The family likes to congregate at the cottage to spend special (summer) holidays for obvious reasons. So, when I received a rather cryptic Facebook message from my best friend/sister-in-law asking me if we were going to the cottage, I kind of knew what she meant. But there was no holiday and no scheduled family gathering. At least, there was none that I knew about. Besides, my best friend/sister-in-law had moved to Louisiana. Last I knew, she wouldn’t be making it to the cottage any time soon.

I received this message around 4 am and was in bed by 5 am. Alex woke me up oh-so-thoughtfully by pinching me (while I was still asleep) ten times, before I finally got out of bed around 11:30 am. Shortly thereafter, we received a call from my mother-in-law with my very impatient best friend/sister-in-law making somewhat belligerent statements in the background.

Surprise! She’s here!

As you might imagine, surprises—even good ones—aren’t so easy for our family to deal with. But, because I hadn’t seen her or my nephew in about a year, we had to get everyone ready for a trip up to the cottage without notice or foreshadowing.

All things considered, it went well. The boys took it in stride. We all had a blast. It was great seeing her again. And now that she’s back in Indiana, I’m going to be able to see her a lot more. I even got to bring my nephew back with me to spend the night with his cousins. All in all, it was a very good day.

Which just goes to show how far we’ve come. It used to be that I’d try something like this, and we’d face major meltdowns from some very disturbed little boys who couldn’t handle their routines being shattered without notice. Then, it used to be that I’d just say, “No, we can’t do that. We need notice. We need to foreshadow. I’m sorry we can’t come, but just don’t surprise us.”

Surprise! We tried it and it worked!

We’ve come a long way.

Self-Care: I’ve Got a Plan!

  • Posted on December 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM

It took some work, some figuring out, but I’ve taken a good, hard look at what I have to do, what I should do, and what I want to do; and then I compared it to what I realistically can do, and made myself a new plan. I’ve also figured out some strategies for improving my current condition and have put the strategies I can into play. (This is until I have a treatment plan, which will presumably be more extensive.)

I’m already feeling a little bit better, though there are still good days and bad days to contend with. In short, I’m getting back on track.