Monday, July 29, 2013

A Moving Victory

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

St. Paul

"By recording your goals and dreams on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be."

Mark Victor Hansen

"A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there."

H. Stanley Judd

Something interesting happened to me today.  Something wonderful.  I had to put my classroom back in order after moving everything out of it two months ago.  We thought our school was going to be closed.  Fortunately, it wasn’t, but that made the move completely unnecessary.  Still, it was done and there was nothing left to do but move it all back in.  I was dreading the task because the picture in my head was that it was going to take me several hours and when I was done, it still wasn’t going to look that good.
To make a long story short, it all went well.  Yesterday, I wrote down each step I would need to take. 
1.     Get the minivan from my oldest daughter.
2.     Take the minivan to my apartment garage.
3.     Pack the minivan.
4.     Drive the packed minivan to the school.
5.     Unpack the minivan.
6.     Unpack the boxes and put the items in the right places.
7.     Write lesson plans for the first day of school.
8.     Prepare materials.

Now all of this may seem painfully obvious, but it really helped me to write it down and then follow the directions.  The other interesting part of this was that I followed the directions to the letter and I didn’t let other things get in my way.  For example, last night when I was packing the car, I was feeling anger and disappointment that no one responded to my request for help.  But I didn’t let my emotions interfere with my task.  And soon those emotions faded.
This morning when I was unpacking the minivan, I got tired from a lack of sleep.  So I took a quick rest, but then I got back to my task.  Each box I took out of the car represented my decision to stay focused.  Each box I unpacked correctly represented another decision to stay focused.  Every time I stayed on task, I was making a decision to stay focused.  Before long, I was almost done.   Now I still have some boxes to unpack, but right now my room looks nice and I’m ready to teach. 
Today represents one of many personal victories I’ve been having lately.  Actually, it represents one victory, the victory over fear, which is also a victory over procrastination and disorganization, two manifestations of fear.  This made my day very nice. 
Now I have to be careful.  Today was one victory.  But I still have trouble staying focused.  I still have ADHD or something like it.  But I know that I can live with it and fight it and create strategies and plans.  In The Art of War, Lao Tzu says, “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” 
I won the battle today because I made plans and I wrote them.  The interesting thing is that I didn’t look at what I had written once it was written.  I knew what I had to do.  Generally, things go better for me when I plan what I’m going to do.  And my plans go better, when I write them.
Writing my plans helps me to have a better day.  I generally teach better when I write out lesson plans.  Sometimes if I just need to use the next few minutes well, it helps me to write out my plans.  I’m really trying to change my life and to change my life means to change my behaviors, stopping some and adding new ones.  The one I want to add is to write down tasks and goals every day.
There is also one other element here that is worth considering.  This morning I published a blog expressing my disappointment that no one responded to my call for help with this work.  Now I realize that it all worked out for the good.  Had even one person helped me, I wouldn’t have been able to see what I can do on my own.  I would have appreciated the help, but I appreciate the lesson even more.  As a result I feel peaceful and full of faith.  I’m ready to face tomorrow.  I’m ready to Get Started and Keep Going.