I like to think that I have instilled great values within my kids. They both are very kind souls with huge helping hearts. But in all other aspects, my daughter Leslie and I could not be more opposite! When we go away for her dance competitions, I'm lucky if I packed a toothbrush...where she has an itemized checklist of everything she needs to bring. When we get to the hotel, first thing I want to do is relax on the bed, while she hangs up all of her clothes and costumes and lays out all of her makeup.
On a whim, I decided we needed some time away and planned a last minute trip to Sea World (I had tickets for us...a perk of being a California teacher). I secured a nice hotel for a decent price and we were ready to roll! When I pulled up the Sea World tickets, I realized that they needed to be "activated" two weeks prior...change in plans. So I simply Googled "Fun things to do in San Diego" and began making a list of alternative adventures. To me, this was exciting...no plan! To Leslie, this was nerve racking. She didn't want to go. I said "We are going...we have no plan...we are just going to see what happens and have fun." She wasn't buying it. But this was good for her. She needs to be OK with plans changing, the unknowns and being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Anyone that knows me, knows that one of my biggest flaws is I am severely directionally challenged. I get lost, even with my GPS. This trip was no different. The most heard phrase on our adventure was "Route Recalculation". We heard it so frequently, that it just became comical (at one point, she was tallying how many times we heard it). This was good for Leslie. She was learning that things don't always go as planned, but there is always another way. She was witnessing us course correct, in real time. AND she realized that we were OK.
We decided to go to a recommended restaurant and after a few "Route Recalculations" we made it. But when we got there, the line was out the door and around the building. We needed to make a decision. We decided to forgo that restaurant and find another. The hole in the wall restaurant we stumbled in to turned out to be fantastic. This showed Leslie that when something doesn't quite go as planned, there is always another option, and often that option turns out better than the planned.
Our next stop was the mall (not my favorite). This was really comical. We were looking for the Vans store. We found it on the directory and I followed Leslie's lead as she is the one with the direction skills. Well what we found was, we just kept going in circles. My first inclination was to just go ask someone, or leave. Leslie's response was "No, we can figure this out on our own, let's go back to the map." It was interesting to see her tenacity and grit. Where I was ready to give up and give in, she wanted to continue and figure it out for herself. I learned from her on this one. But, as we were on this mall adventure she turned and said to me "See, mom, there is more than one path to get where we are going." THAT was worth her dragging me to the mall.
There were many more such mistakes, route recalculations and a lot of laughing. But in that trip, I believe we both learned and grew.
Here are the lessons learned:
1) Things don't usually go as planned. We need to be agile and learn to pivot and continue.
2) Persevere, don't give up...stay the course, even if the course is corrected.
3) There is more than one path, find yours.
4) Laugh at yourself...you just have to.
5) Always look for the learning.
These are great lessons that we need to be teaching and modeling for our students. It is important for them to be able to make quick decisions, redirect, go back to the drawing board, try, fail, learn and grow. They are growing up in an ever changing world and they need to be able to adapt to it. They must be prepared for the unprepared...the plot twist...the plan B.
In my own life...I have goals, and a path to get there. It has not been a straight path. There have been many "route recalculations". Just when something seems like it is going south, another opportunity opens up. And vice versa, just as things seem to be lining up, plans change. We just need to be open to see all of those different routes. We need to be flexible and willing to take risks, because the gains far out weigh the losses. In the long run, it doesn't matter which path we take on our journey...whatever path we take is the one that is meant for us.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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