The names have been left out to protect the innocent. But lately around our house, there’s been a bit of struggle for one of us to complete and turn in home work. It’s not at all related to a lack of ability. It’s a lack of motivation and concern for the consequences. In working with the teachers at school, we’ve implemented what we consider to be severe consequences, which seem to be received with mostly indifference. My mind is boggled by a child who is brilliant, kind, and empathic, equipped in every way for success, who appears to be wondering in the wilderness of apathy.
Then, I am reminded of myself as a child.
School wasn’t my thing. Good grades didn’t interest me. Impressing others wasn’t on my radar. Having fun, making friends and goofing off was kind of everything. That’s different for this particular child, but it’s a great guidepost for the lesson on the docket.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
Instead of the nagging reminders to finish and turn in homework, my new battle cry in this little struggle is to consistently make correlations to the cost of things that matter. Reminders like “Doodling now is costing you shooting hoops later.” “Daydreaming now is costing you P.E. class tomorrow.” And on and on. . . I can’t force him to get it done, but I can do a better job of reminding him of what it will cost him and put the ball back in his court.
This process has been a vivid reminder for me.
It’s been a lifelong lesson for me to learn that each tiny decision I make throughout the day has a cost. I fight distraction on a daily, no, moment by moment, basis. There’s always something that would be more fun than responding to emails or completing an administrative task. But I’ve learned (and am still learning) that 5 minutes of surfing social media, 10 minutes of responding to a silly group text, and 15 minutes of cleaning up the house, all together end up costing me 30 minutes of time with my family, or even sleep, later. The work has to get done. I can do it while I’m home alone during the day, I can do it when my family is here with me, or I can do it when they’re all asleep. The choice is mine. I get to decide the price I pay.
So do you.
It’s not just the big decisions that will shape your life, it’s the small, seemingly inconsequential, decisions accumulating over time.
Each small decision you make with your time today has a cost.
Is it worth what you’ll have to pay?
to more love,