Going against the grain. | Teaching Self-Government

Going against the grain.

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There is an old saying which says, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

This is going to shock you all......WHY?   Seriously, I think this is sound advice for school assignments that are due, and remembering to put gas in the car, but after careful consideration, I have found that this advice about not procrastinating, can ruin the days and lives of some mothers.

How many "homework" assignments do we constantly pile upon ourselves under the pretence of this old adage?  I have found myself canning until 2:00 a.m. when I have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. just because I promised myself that I would get that project done before I went to bed.  In my mind, I have convinced myself that the fruit would not last one more day.  And, to get this done, all of my family relationships go on hold.   Why did I do this to myself?  Why do I do this to myself in regard to other topics as well?

I am a firm believer in the fact that excellence requires a certain amount of pressure, but I have also decided that I am a believer that excellence in family relationships can be ruined, and happiness lost if a person gets too caught up getting all of these lists done and loosing all her sleep.

One morning at my water aerobics class a friend of mine who is 80 years old changed my life.  I was explaining to her, how I only got three hours of sleep due to my busy canning schedule, and she said, "Don't you know?  There is hardly anything that can't wait until tomorrow."

Wow!  This was really simple and really true.  She then went on to tell me how sorry she was that she wasted so many of her years putting stress on herself about trivial projects when she should have been playing with her children.

Even though I am not perfect at this principle yet, I try to pay special attention to the really important things now.  If life feels stressed, read a story to your child, or play a game, or go for a walk, or build a blanket fort...  Play!

I have made an important discovery that is worth sharing.  When life feels hard, it is usually because I have decided to worry about trivial things.  And, if the sink is full of dishes, or the boxes are full of pears, they will still be there tomorrow waiting for me if I go to bed.  Amazing!

The biggest bonus of this new found knowledge is that I am a more rested, happy mommy and wife; all because I can trust that life, with all of it's projects, will still be there in the morning.

I think "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today" really means, don't put off your relationships and happy memory making moments until tomorrow.  Do them today, because the opportunity WILL be lost tomorrow.  The old saying doesn't really mean that we have to run around saving everything and every person in the world every day before we can go to bed.  Relax, life starts the minute you pick a story book off the shelf and snuggle on the couch with your loved ones.

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