Counseling Update May 25, 2017
GETTING PRIORITIES STRAIGHT
I have written on this topic before regarding the life style most of us have chosen—hurried, hectic, and then there are those days that the meter tilts to frantic. The school year is almost over and some of us can breathe a sigh of relief; but it doesn’t have to be that way. For those of us that are Type A personalities and can be driven at times, slowing down and smelling the roses can be difficult; but, with a little reminding and an urge to refocus, it can be done.
Our society does not help parents in this area—to slow down and focus on what is important—your family/children. Everything is very competitive and scheduled. From the moment a child is born parents begin comparing their child to someone else’s child—who rolled over first, first steps, first words—everything is a competition and if your child is not first or a close second then off to a specialist or when the child is older the search for a tutor begins.
As an educator I understand and support the learning and achievement of individuals, but everything doesn’t have to be a competition. However, once a child enters school it is game on. There are classroom assessments and state tests which parents and students must face; and, if you plan on sending your child to a private school then there is the added stress of an entrance exam and often an interview. All of this pressure builds and leads to college exams and then a job/career. So how can you possibly slow down; there is just no time!
One of the first things to do is ask yourself the basic question: “In five years (or less) will any of this matter?” Fill in any number of years on that question, and the answer is almost always NO. When a person is at the sunset part of life and looking back they are not thinking –I wish I had attended a few more meetings, or written a few more reports—NO, it is always about relationships. What is your legacy? What better legacy than to leave your family with the knowledge that you did the best you could for them and that you were always there for them through all the hard times as well as the good—no regrets. This world is a little better because you passed by here; you were able to leave this place just a little better than you found it.
In closing here is a very familiar poem that helps put things in perspective. This particular version did not list an author.
WHAT DID I DO TODAY?
Today I left some dishes dirty, I nursed a baby til he slept,
The bed got made around 3:30. I held a toddler while she wept.
The diapers soaked a little longer, I played a game of hide and seek,
The odor grew a little stronger. I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
The crumbs I spilled the day before, I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Are staring at me from the floor. I taught a child right from wrong.
The fingerprints there on the wall, What did I do this whole day through?
Will likely be there still next fall. Not much that shows, I guess that’s true.
The dirty streaks on those window panes, Unless you think that what I’ve done,
Will still be there next time it rains. Might be important to someone,
Shame on you, you sit and say, With bright brown eyes and soft brown hair,
Just what did you do today? If that is true….I’ve done my share.
Enjoy and celebrate each other; time is short and life is very precious. Best wishes for a joyful and relaxed summer.
Linda H. Matchie,