“Mom, I’m bored!”
I hear that phrase way too often in my house. Not because my children are bored, not because there isn’t enough for them to do but because they are too lazy to actually come up with ideas!
I’m afraid to say that I think the apple fell real close to the tree and I’m the one to blame. Being indecisive sucks!
I can imagine a bunch of super neat ideas but I can’t choose which one to actually follow through on. My kids on the other hand need help coming up with ideas, all the time! Maybe it’s just their age. Maybe it’s because they are lazy. Or maybe we just have too much to do.
Here’s my theory. We, us, our society, my family, me…we have too much. Too much food, too much toys, too much time, too much…for lack of a better word…choice.
My husband grew up in a third world country, his choices were limited and his memories filled with joy. I grew up in suburban middle class America with opportunities around every corner…my child hood was also filled with joy.
My husband came to the US in mid elementary school and his teen years were spent being the responsible caretaker of his two siblings and causing mischief while his single mom worked three jobs. My teen years look like Daria or any other 90’s high school drama. He grew up with few choices and now he can easily make a decision and jump straight to doing … I mull over every possibility.
My biggest responsibility before marrying off in my early 20’s was always centered on me and who I wanted to be when I grew up. You know what…I’m a grown up and I still don’t know! I’m a writer, a teacher, a mom…I’ve taken on roles that suit me well but I have no idea how any of this is going to pan out in ten years.
My husband wanted to go to college, couldn’t afford it and so he joined the military to help him make a living (before 9/11) as well as getting him out of his hometown and has discovered new passions along the way. I went to college because it was expected of me and I changed my major 7 times in the first two years! I graduated and still didn’t know what I wanted to do.
Part of this is personality but part of this is having excess possibilities. When you only have two choices than it’s the lesser of two evils…when you have fifteen it gets pretty ridiculous!
I’m not saying that I need to take away anyone’s freedoms but I am thinking that maybe we, I, need to teach my kids how to simplify. How to move past the possibilities and make a leap of faith.
I want them to be adventurous and willing to live life to the fullest but they will never do that thinking about possibilities from home.
My challenge for them, and for me is to explore what interests us and learn along the way. To go out and try new things. Explore new places. Simplify our home so that the choices are a bit more limited. Baby steps towards leaping out in faith, knowing that we have been created with purpose and ready to be usable vessels in the hands of a Master Potter!
It’s time to Do Something, go somewhere, make something…instead of being overwhelmed by the possibilities it’s time to tackle each one head on taking one step at a time. We are not trees after all, we were made to move.