I think I’ll write about changing life in our home. We’ve been going through some serious difficulties – particularly in the last few months. We do not have a particularly kind or patient home and sarcasms is usually stuck on high. Given the lack of patience, we often are on edge; it is certainly not a great environment, but add to it any kind of additional stressor and it’s like pouring gasoline on hot coals. Currently, the stress is particularly high, now that we’ve decided to move our kids to a different school, one which we believe is better and is less expensive for our family. Earlier in the year the kids were leaning to wanting to go (maybe 55/45), so the decision was made, but as the end of their school year came into focus and the reality of not seeing the friends from their old school as much; the stress levels went into high gear.
It’s funny how stress exaggerates your weaknesses and brings them to light – often we are ‘okay’ with them until they are too much of a problem. At first I try to pacify them by making small changes in my life, like defining my priorities and dropping out of non-essential commitments, but it wasn’t helping – no one is happy – we’re surviving, but that’s about it.
We decided to start seeing a counselor – 1) for the more immediate issue of dealing with the loss of the old school and transition to the new school and 2) for us as a family.
So, in the van, running back to son’s high-school,on Friday evening, because he left his homework there and then to go out to eat, we announced that we had our first counseling appointment – first for just Mom & Dad. What transpired next is what made me start thinking – and inspired this post (sorry it took so long to just get here).
My daughter said, “can’t we just give it a bit more time?” I said, “what do you want to have happen? I don’t know what to do.”
As I said, this started me thinking. Thinking about the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. This hope my daughter spoke of that in a few more days things would magically change for the better. Which lead me to think about blowing the whole thing up – the sarcasm, the hurtful comments, the responding in anger, the busy schedules – what if we did everything different (obviously I am not talking about the core of things), but what if we changed the bigger things in our lives. What if we as a family lived for something greater than just our individual selves. What if we created a manifesto for our home!? This would require everyone would to contribute to it – maybe we could have a family chant of sorts, like the Haka (Rugby, New Zealand All Blacks).
I shared this idea with my kids while I was preparing dinner, since my wife was with her mother in the hospital – yes, more stress. My kids were like “Why?” – in that way that already indicates that its a stupid idea. I explained we are going to a counselor because we are unable to change on our own, because if we were able to change then we wouldn’t need one. I said, if we were able to come up with things that caused us to change then we didn’t need to go. The idea of having a family chant, in my mind, would be to get us to think outside of ourselves and more like a team. I reminded them that we just recently watched the movie “Forever Strong” (Kia Kaha) where the young troubled boy reaches a point where he says “I don’t do ANYTHING to embarrass myself, my team and my family” (great movie btw) – I said what if we got to a point where we made that commitment too – not only about embarrassing things, but about respect, about building each other up and not tearing each other down, etc. What if we were all on the same team? What if we realized that making fun of the younger brother and tearing him down, actually tour us down as a family?
I think my daughter got it…
I’m not sure how it will all turn out, but change is coming and I pray for the Lord’s guiding… I’ll likely share more on this as things unfold.