Oddly, we’ve had several discussions about money over Spring Break this year. The boys and I stayed up late one night calculating the amount of money they’ll need to save to pay for their part of a car when they turn 16, if they decide they want one. We broke that down into an annual, monthly and hourly rate.
They were astonished.
It turned out that they really needed to get to work, and soon. As a result, they asked how they could earn money around the house. I asked them to make a list of jobs and what they thought those jobs were worth. It was quite a humorous exercise, but in the end, we came up with a list of jobs that would actually help the family beyond their usual responsibilities. Things like: washing windows, sweeping the garage, washing the car, removing and cleaning the wasp nests etc. . .
We assigned a fair wage for each and they got to work.
I expected to hear complaining for the next few hours, but I was pleasantly surprised. Those boys were working hard, and they were happy. They were laughing and energetic. Even an hour or so in, when I thought the fun would surely be wearing off, it wasn’t. They were still working hard and feeling good.
It’s not because they are simply sweet charming boys who love to work so hard.
It’s because they had a shift in perspective. For a moment in time, they were thinking about the long-term payoff instead of the short-term investment. Most of all, they were enjoying the challenge. They were getting creative. They were using tools and supplies in ways I’d never thought of, and they were doing it well. (I saw a water gun filled with soapy water being shot up at the top of the windows and it worked!) They were out of their usual element with a little more time and space for creativity.
We all need that sometimes.
With life moving at the speed of light, it’s hard to make that kind of space. I know it is for me, at least. But watching them yesterday was such a good reminder. Our bodies were made for work and our minds were made for creativity, but we often push too hard. We keep our heads down, focused on the task instead of bringing new perspectives and fresh energy to the scene.
As you go into your weekend, with all of your to-do’s, consider mixing it up.
Turn out of your driveway a different direction. Take a different route on your run. Use a different soap. Eat at a different restaurant. Try playing a game after dinner instead of moving the party to the couch.
You never know how a fresh perspective might bring you joy. . .
Until you try it out.
to more love,