This blog post marks the first in a series of writings and posts for the Hebrew month of Elul. Each day, I will reflect on a variety of themes. Thanks, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer for the inspiration!
Best friend, worst enemy.
I’m a planner at heart.
I write this just as I’ve finished up preparation for a teacher workshop I’m giving next week on differentiating for gifted kids. It’s taken me over six hours to develop my handout.
Why on earth do I do that to myself? I just love the idea of having things all squared away and organized. I like having the big picture in my head, crystallized to a point where I can communicate with clarity. That, and I have suffered through too many disorganized workshops to expect less of myself.
At the same time, I’m more than well aware that the presentation can go in a completely different direction from what I’ve planned.
Just like in my classroom.
Just like life.
Because let’s face it. We THINK we can prepare ourselves for mentally for life, but we’re kidding ourselves.
Case in point: I ran two marathons before I had kids, and it took an incredible amount of mental toughness. It became a process of telling the negative voice in my head to sit down and shut up. I naturally assumed I could summon that mental toughness when it came time for childbirth.
Ask my husband how quickly THAT went out the hospital window when I was in labor.
So, yes. I know that I can’t prepare for everything in life. And I know the things I can’t prepare for comprise life’s most amazing and heartbreaking things.
If there’s something I can control?
Something I might be able to prepare for?
Something I really can think out ahead of time?
You bet I’ll be all over it.