Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life works better with a plan

   I've always been a list person.  I love to cross items off as I accomplish them.  One of my first jobs out of college was a planner, and I often said that I had been a planner before I ever got that job.  I come by it honestly, because my folks were the same way.  As soon as we began to discuss anything that was to happen in the future, Dad would say "Let's start a list."  Whether it was the Holidays coming up,  next year's vacation, or one of our weddings, the process was the same.  Things to do now, things to do in the next few weeks or months, and then the final things that would need to be done.  There's a saying about having a plan, even if you don't stick to it.  Take life one step at a time.
   As  parents, we may want to jump in and solve every problem.  Before blurting out a  list,  try to say "I know you have a plan, what is it?"   If they don't have a plan,  help them sort out the issue.  It takes time to make a list of pros and cons, but it's a good way to get a glimpse of  how they process a situation.   I tried to say things like "I like the way you thought this through" and "I like the way your mind works".  We all  need problem solving skills for sports, classes, jobs, and life. 
   I remember going through the college application process.  Students were encouraged to apply to three types of colleges.  Reach schools are harder to get into,  realistic schools are a good possibility,  and safety net schools offer the best chance for acceptance.  I recently heard Matt use these same terms as he considers all the options for a major decision.   I smile because I know he really doesn't need me, but it does feel good to be asked to listen as he runs through each scenario.  Of course, he decides to reach for the option that will challenge him, instead of settling for the easiest one.  I like the way his mind works.  Soon there will be lots to do...we'll have to start a list.
   As always, take what you like and leave the rest.....have a good week everyone...and the beat goes on.....

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