I used to have a New Year’s tradition. It was back in college. I would write down things I wanted to happen in the new year and write about what was going on at that point in time, more like a mini journal entry. I would seal the letter and not open it until the following year. It was fun, but I’m impatient, so that tradition didn’t last very long.
I’ve never been one to “set goals” per say, there’s always the generic ones….generic to me anyways because they weren’t new or exciting. Lose weight, eat healthy, work out, pray more, get closer to God...none of those are bad, they just weren’t challenging.
A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of selecting a word for the year, or a theme. What one word did I feel God speaking to me, or something that was going on in my life that I recognized needed changing. It started 4 years ago and I’ve been consistent (ironically the first word I picked) in continuing this tradition. It helps me stay focused and it gives me something I can fall back on if I’m getting off track.
Intrepid: fearless; adventurous
Delegation: entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person
I am, by nature, not good at delegation. Some of you are gasping, I’m sure….while others are laughing to themselves and saying “No way”, in a VERY sarcastic tone. I like to get things done. I like to stay busy. I like things done my way (and yes, I’m working on that one too). It’s not that I think I’m superior, by any means, it’s that I don’t trust. Have people given me reason to not trust their abilities? Sometimes...yes. But most of the time, no. I have no reason to NOT trust people around me.
I’m the one who thinks it’s just easier if I do it myself. And god forbid if I have to show someone how to do something (exclusively my children), well this just wears me out and makes me want to do it myself even more.
Recently, this has been pointed out to me in more than one area of my life. It’s not a revelation, but when the people you love start telling you, you’re doing too much or this place would fall apart without you...well, there’s a problem there.
I want to be okay with asking for help. I want to trust people around me and realize they want to help as much as I do. I want to give people (my children especially) a chance to learn things and have responsibility. I NEED to do this.
As hard as this is, and as much as I want to stand over people (my children) and make sure they do things the “right” way, I realize I have to let go. I had my first test two weeks ago, and I will report, with a huge smile on my face, it was successful.
My children have sporadically done house work. They aren’t new to the idea or how it’s done, I just haven’t required much of them in the past. But as part of MY New Year’s theme, I decided it’s time to give them one of their own (see how I’m working this). Every Saturday they will be responsible for a few chores around the house. They were not happy about my new theme of intrepid delegation, but they took to it and I sat back. I did it. I didn’t re-do what they did, I didn’t stand over them and make sure they did it my way...I let it go. And my dishes are clean, the bathroom looks great, the trash and compost are emptied and the floors are clean.
I have to say it took everything in me not to empty the trash and compost myself, because they were filled to the brim. But I did it. I held out, so that I could, in fact, intrepidly delegate. Insert big smiley face.
So for future reference, feel free to tap me on the shoulder if I’m not intrepidly delegating. I will need help to do this successfully (see I’m already asking for more help...baby steps).