Doing the Right Thing(s): Part 5, The End....Actually, It's Just The Beginning!

We spent the morning a few days back having Liam assessed for Physical Therapy. Sure he is making progress but we had this incident a couple weeks ago. You see, he was at swim lessons and at the very end of the class, they had the three little preschoolers line up on the side of the pool and told them to jump in the water (to be caught by the instructor). Liam went first. The problem? Liam can't jump yet. But he doesn't fully realize it. So instead of jumping he just kind of stepped off the pool deck, forcing the teenage instructor to lunge forward to grab him and as he went in he whacked the back of his head on the concrete deck. It was not pretty. No blood but a decent chicken goose egg and plenty of tears and a slightly shocked instructor. (Apparently most kids can jump, who knew....) At any rate, I told the story to his speech pathologist who set him up to be assessed by a PT. Sure enough, he qualifies. His skills are "scattered," the PT told me. He can do some things really well, some things need refining (did you know that they expect a certain running form from three year olds? Sheesh, I thought legs and arms flailing in different directions WAS their form!) and of course, the lack of jumping is far from typical. It was hard for me not to say, "Oh what a relief! He is fairly normal after all." I mean really. Most of us are pretty darn good at some things, average at others and pretty clueless at the rest. That's just a fact of life. You take the good, you take the bad, you take the.....oh wait, wrong thing.

Anyway, the thing about PT is that you don't just do it quickly and get it over with. It is a process. You take baby steps. It takes time. Patience. Follow through. And it has to become a priority for it to be successful. Like exercising. Or finishing that sewing project. Or meal planning.

Deciding to do the right thing(s) is not something that you do one day and so you did it and you are done. It is something you decide to do in every waking moment. It is lifelong and for some of us who are used to going with the flow and taking life as it hits us, it can be life changing.

So where does all of this talk on prioritizing and doing the right things leave us speed demons of the world whose natural inclinations are to add all sorts of random good things to fill our already crazy lives while possibly sacrificing some of the more important things? Well, duh, it means we have to choose the right good things to do at breakneck speed and make sure to do them in the right order, rapido, rapido! Andele! Andele! Just kidding.

It means slowing down long enough to be mindful in the prioritizing: Liam really does need Physical Therapy so that his lack of jumping isn't hazardous. Where does that go in order of importance to me? Above exercise? Above meal planning? Definitely before swim lessons that require him to jump into the water! And while we're at it, I really do need to stay on top of the laundry or else I will have twelve overwhelming loads staring me in the face and my kids will be sent home from school because they aren't wearing pants. Maybe that is where we begin: we decide to take on one thing and stay on top of it and when that becomes routine, we pick the next thing....baby steps.

The prioritizing means we also have to set aside a few minutes to actually sit on a chair ever so often (not just at the evening meal, I know, novel idea...) to map out our daily routines and activities so that we can keep things straight; putting the first things first (first jumping, then jump-roping, then pole vaulting), saying no to the excess and then filling our time with that which is meaningful and intentional. And who knows, maybe that time spent planning and organizing will become enjoyable; a time to renew the spirit, a time to refresh the soul. A time for quiet. And stillness. And peace. Maybe it will become afternoon tea. Care to join me?

(Maybe we could take a nice long run afterwards.....at a really fast pace.....before cramming in a few thousand squats, dips, lunges and push-ups......before rushing off to the next thing!)

Hey, what can I say? It's a work in progress!

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