I write a column, “Dad’s View”, for our weekly local newspaper “The Madison Record”. Every Tuesday I will post here what ran the previous Saturday. Spankin’ new posts on Thursdays.

Getting Ready to Be Ready Gets in the Way

It was Sunday night and we were busy laying Mae’s clothes out for the week. I know, a weeks worth of clothes resting on the top of her wooden easel waiting to fall to the floor with the slightest bump, to then be perceived as dirty, picked up, thrown in the hamper during my manic cleaning-sprint around the house, and washed again – it seems ridiculous and self-defeating.

But, we are trying to stay on top, be prepared, and think that we are one step ahead of tomorrow. Lunches packed and labeled the night before, notes tacked to the cork board with a myriad of colors highlighting their importance, and mentally washing Friday nights dinner dishes on Tuesday.

It’s all happening. Head-spinning-thought-bouncing-breath-quickening-anxiety-flying planning.

And, planning is necessary. Preparing today for what you may encounter tomorrow is something that I have always taken seriously. But how much is too much? If the lunch that was prepared on Monday for Wednesday is taken on Tuesday and Thursday’s lunch was going to be Wednesday’s left-overs, who is eating what when, and can you imagine what the refrigerator looks like.

Adjusting to a new schedule brings out the “best” in all of us. It appears that when faced with change, we either become withdrawn, over-compensate, or are lucky enough to have a personality that allows us to “roll with the punches”. I react the first two ways, and thankfully my wife is one of those “roll with the punches” types of people.

There is a middle ground in all of this, a place where no one is scrambling (at least daily) yet needs are taken care of. It is my hope that as we progress through the school year we will understand what is important NOW, and what can wait until tomorrow. If we don’t change, I fear that all of our running around and planning will foggy our vision of what is happening at any given moment. I fear that we may lose sight of enjoying a time in our lives that demands attention and absorption. A time we will never have back.