After a chilly morning without heat I was relieved when the fixit guy repaired the gas valve on our heater rather than installing a new $5000 heater. In the hours that spanned the time until he arrived my other half suggested we hunker down and prepare for the worst (a new heater and days of waiting without heat).
After years of imagining my worst fears, most of which never came to pass, I've adopted more of a wait-and-see mindset when it comes to matters like this. Rather than spending energy on what might happen I look for productive ways of uncovering the true challenge. Yesterday, my first call was to the fixit guy. He isolated the problem, fixed it and we moved on through the day.
About this time every year as elementary school parents ready themselves for the move to middle school I see two distinct groups emerge: the worriers and the planners. Unfortunately the majority of parents fall into the worrier group, expending countless hours of energy imagining the worst possible scenarios for the children. Conflicts with teachers, falling behind in classes and bullying top the list of worries among these parents.
A few parents (the planners) find their way to the first day of middle school free of the anxiety that persists among the masses. How do they do it? There are two strategies I see these parents using:
- Talk with experts. Experts can be children and parents who have already finished a year of middle school. Rather than looking for a select few, parents using this strategy try to gain a complete picture by talking to as many experts as possible.
- Envision the future. In the months leading up to the beginning of a new school year these parents use their energy to imagine how they want the coming year to be for their children. With a clear vision in place of how they want the coming year to be, these parents don't allow the possibility of what might be, cloud what could be.