Monday, January 25, 2016

Doing The Homework of Life

When I was in high school, I spent the better part of my weekends completing homework for the coming week. One could argue that doing so got me better grades. One could argue that doing so enabled me to spend my weekdays juggling extracurriculars, or that doing so got me out of the cleaning and yard work my parents asked me to do. Mostly, I think, I did it because it gave me a sense of control over my time. If I could accomplish many of the week's assignments on my own schedule, I could then accomplish what I wanted the rest of the time.

In some ways, not much has changed. While I don't necessarily have actual school homework (though I happily encourage my kids on the weekend homework path), my "homework" these days is the preparation for my work hours. Just as I felt better back then if I could control my use of time, these days, I feel better if I take control of getting sleep before an overnight, or packing snacks to survive said overnight. And I feel better if, with my kids, I can "clear the decks," just a little, so that we have some control over our week. As hard as weekends full of homework may have seemed back then, they bought me the control I so desperately wanted. They prepared me for hours of staring at floor plans and blocking scenes when I was directing. And they taught me the value of taking control of my time, and of teaching my kids to do the same.

We can let the homework of life overwhelm us, or we can take control of it. And if we take control, chances are, we will go into the situations of life better rested, better prepared, and better equipped to handle whatever comes our way.

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