Monday, 11 August 2014

I did learn something.... If you can't do something well, maybe you should just leave it for a time when you can do it well. You don't have to do everything just because it's there.
This is completely contrary to how I'm wired. I am wired to plow through whatever circumstances and obstacles are coming at me. I will achieve and I will finish and it will be done no matter how ugly the outcome is. A classic example from another Mom: last night my kids and I watched last week's "Amazing Race Canada" and we watched Mother and Son team Nicole and Cormac at a road block. Nicole had to ride her bike for a kilometer and then get down and shoot 5 perfect shots with her biathalon gun. It took her forever. Like, hours. She cried. I cried along with her. I think it took her 22 tries to get it. They ended up being eliminated and we were all so sad, but she finished - that was the important lesson she wanted to leave her son with, (never give up) and he got it, and it was powerful. That is fantastic "first half of life" thinking, and there is a place for it, but as I'm comfortably in my 40's now, I see things with a bit of a different eye.
(By the way, "first half of life" thinking is a Richard Rohr thing. He's a Franciscan Monk that lives in New Mexico and I'm a fan of many things that he has to say - I will talk about him again.)
The grey hairs on my head tell me a different story. Sometimes less is more. You can't force success. (or even completion) You can't control an outcome just because you really, really want it, or because you're a really, really nice person. Sometimes it's better to graciously bow out of a situation rather than doing an "OK" job. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is sometimes just what you need to do.

I remember at the end of Soccer Camp one year I had no money in my budget for "thank you" gifts for my coaches, so I gave them each a pad of post it notes and told them how "attached" we were to them. Lame. A heart felt thank you would have been much more appreciated, I'm sure. All a pad of post it notes said was that I was out of money but felt an obligation.

For the past few years at church we've had a "Church in the Park" service at my kid's Elementary School as a kick off to summer. We booked the field months before the date but a few weeks before it was scheduled to happen, we were told we couldn't use the field. So I decided we could just have the picnic in the back parking lot of the church. So what had traditionally been potluck and games and water balloons turned into pavement and hot dogs and crazy UV rays. I mean, it wasn't a total disaster. But 3 legged races on asphalt just aren't the same as frolicking through meadows of perfectly coiffed fields of green. Maybe I should have just left it for this year. Not done it until I could do it well.

I've had relationships where I tried and tried and tried. Tried so hard to make people happy. Tried everything to make them like/love me. Prayed and prayed and prayed. Nothing. The healthiest thing I've been able to do is to give those relationships distance. I can't see clearly when I'm right in the middle of my emotions. I don't have to be everybody's friend just because they're there. And there ARE seasons for everything.  I think I read that somewhere.

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