Just Handle It

I had the absolute privilege of having my son, Ethan, join me here three years ago. Ethan had just celebrated his 12th birthday, actually on the same day as his sixth grade promotion, and what an exciting day it was! We actually had to share a stool because he’s so tall, he couldn’t even stand up next to me. It didn’t take him long to outgrow me.

So Ethan and I were having a really good conversation, and he had some words of wisdom that I wanted to share with you. So a few years ago, Ethan had a lot of responsibilities, and it was quite overwhelming. And so, how did you handle that? How did you get yourself out of that overwhelming situation?

Well, I focused on things I enjoyed the most and what I had to do: so school, and so I dropped some activities so I didn’t have to come home stressed after one activity and go to another.

And how did you determine which activity? Like you said, school obviously is number one, but among the activities you were doing, how did you choose which one to keep?

Well, I chose my favorites out of all of them. I ended up choosing baseball as my favorite activity.

Awesome! Now that you’ve been focused for the last three or four years on school and baseball, that’s allowed you to even have some more free time, right? For fun – because that’s important, to have fun. But there are still days where you come home and you’ve got school all day and then you’ve got an away game for baseball, and then you have a crazy amount of homework – you’ve had some serious homework this year. How do you manage that?

Well, I try to get as much done as I can. And then before I start getting stressed, I say, “I’m done,” and go to sleep, and then ask you and dad if you can wake me up early, so I can finish the rest.

Right, so that’s such a good tip! So, there were times before where you didn’t do that, where you would say, “No, I’m going to push through the night, and I’m going to do it.” So how did that feel for you, when you did that?

Well since I was so tired, it made me even more stressed and I just wouldn’t feel good when I went to sleep. Then I’d wake up in the morning all tired.

So by making the choice to cut it off and say, “I’m done, I’m going to go to sleep,” and even though you still have to wake up early the next morning, how do you feel then?

I feel better after a good night’s sleep, and I can also get my work done more efficiently, because I kind of reset, and am able to do better quality work.

Awesome! Okay, I SO did not prompt him to say that; those are his words! So more efficient and better quality of work, I love it! So, Ethan’s 12-year-old wisdom to us is, number one: be focused on the activities that you need to do and you enjoy the most. And number two: get rest; take those breaks, it helps rejuvenate you so you can be more efficient and have better quality. Right? Awesome!

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