how to find the right answers

Man. Work, homework, housekeeping, volunteering, relationships, parenting, politics, interpersonal drama. There’s been a whole mess of it over the past several weeks, and I am tapped out. And I’m not nearly done with all that I need (or that I committed) to do.

I hate feeling like this: so busy, and not necessarily overwhelmed, but just at that point where you sigh a lot and think “oh for pete’s sake could I just have ten minutes of nothingness?”

I feel like this, and I have just two kids, a pretty nice amount of time, and the ability to say “no” to anything. I have so much control over my own stress level that I have no excuse to feel this way. And yet I do. I do, and that feeling tricks me: I catch myself thinking that my experience is somehow equal to that of another. And then I stop seeing another person in front of me, I only see me. Then I act or speak, and then I make a mistake, and morph into a fool.  

It’s this thing we do to ourselves. We think we know, and then we act, and then we err.

Our daughter — when she does her homework, sometimes she moves too quickly through her reading of a problem, and thinks she knows the answer, and writes it down, and then oops, she makes an error. She has to teach herself (and we try to help) that she simply must slow down, look at each word in front of her, never assume she knows everything she needs to know, and then, and only then, try to solve the problem. Then, and only then, will she find the right answer.

I talk to her about this, and I tell her, “I used to do the same thing, I’d think I’d know, and I’d be wrong.”

I still do the same thing.

Man oh MAN, I hate that.

But it’s temporary, right? Our ability to be wrong isn’t permanent. It comes and goes, just like our ability to be transparent, and reflective, about what and why we do whatever it is that we do. I know I can strengthen the preferable ability, but it’s hard to remember when I’m tired. Being tired makes me a bit more self-absorbed.

So here’s my reminder.

“There is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing by your side. . . . This is why we are here.”

2 thoughts on “how to find the right answers

  1. Wow. This could be me writing this. There seem to be several times each day where I”Pull myself together” and move ahead.

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