Monday, April 10

It's all in the Road Trip

One of my personality traits (do I have to say flaw?) is that I tend to take life too seriously. I would not generally be called the life of the party. If you are at the party, I am not the one providing all the entertainment. I'm the one running around making sure we have enough food, seeing if all the decorations are still up and generally having a hissy fit if anything veers from perfect. For me, it's all in the big picture. Since I tend to look at life through binoculars instead of through rose-colored glasses, I worry a lot about teaching the right values to my kids. And forbid should I miss one lesson...they only have a lifetime to learn everything they are supposed to know.

But this weekend, I had the chance to revisit the lesson that if you don't enjoy and focus on the process of getting where you're going, you won't get as much joy out of what you accomplish. Case in point....

Eric was down in the dumps about not placing in the state competition for the team project he did this weekend. He said he only did the project so he could win the competition so all the work the last four months turned out to be a waste of time. I broke into the mantra about all the benefits he'd gotten - he learned to work in a team without getting mutinied for bossing everybody around; he gained some great acting skills through his team manager; he had a chance to use his leadership qualities to help his team along. I reminded him that the Bible says if he works hard, he doesn't have to be ashamed of the outcome as long has he's done his best. It doesn't feel that great to succeed if you know you didn't try very hard.

And then came my turn on Sunday. That was the day I was too sick to sing in the Palm Sunday cantata at church. I spent four months practicing, and then watched somebody else sing the solo part I had down pat. The initial reaction was "What a bummer with all the practice I put into it." But then I caught myself and realized that the performance was just the 45 min. ending to the experience of getting ready. The getting ready was where all the lessons were. The real fun was meeting every week learning the music, goofing off with other people who love music, making our group sound better and better with every practice.

It's weird how we apply this rule to some things and not others. I wouldn't dream of quitting my daily exercise workouts, even though one look at the rear side of my body tells me that I have definitely not reached THAT goal yet. I wouldn't consider throwing away all my hair and makeup loot even though nobody crowned me Miss Universe this year. And I wouldn't think it was okay to stop cleaning my house just because tomorrow I'll have to do it all over again.

So even though it's my turn to pass the life lessons of perseverance and commitment down to the little people, I can use a refresher myself sometimes.

5 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

wow, that is a lot of God-given wisdom. thanks, i needed that today.
donna s

Anonymous said...

Jen, there is one thing I have learned about you (even after knowing you all these years) since you have started blogging. You, Jennifer Olsen, are a GOOD Mom. And I don't mean a good Mom, you are a GOOD Mom!

Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot my name, that last post was from me, Mary Ellen.

Anonymous said...

That was a great message. Thank you.

- Debbie Stewart

Anonymous said...

Awesome writing Jennifer! LOVE reading your advice, you really are a GOOD mom!