Let it Go
I attended a school district inservice about ten years ago, in which the instructor began the event by presenting the concept of “Let it go.” He asked us to consider the myriad of possibilities that occur daily, that annoy us. Many of those items are unavoidable, and yet we let them gnaw at us. He asked us to take our hands and place them in front of our chests, and push them together, palms pressing against one another, and simply thrust our arms outward, while expelling the words, “Let it go.”
In this literal manner, he was asking us to tackle these irritating daily occurrences head-on, and demonstrate it with the two-handed gesture. Our middle school staff adopted this symbolic symbol of acceptance, employing it regularly during the course of the remainder of the school year. Whenever things got tense, or complicated, someone would break the mood with the sign, and the rest would follow suit. We found it very effective as a tool for admitting that something was complex, and letting go the stress, without abandoning the project.
Three little words. No, not those three, but “Let it go.” So much happens arounds the house, on a daily basis, that would be better if simply ignored. In some homes it might be the presence of a ring on the table, where a coaster was obviously missing in action, or it might be the presence of the dirty cup itself. Nonetheless, you’ve seen it there a hundred times before, and you fear you’ll see it a hundred more times, just like the pile of discarded clothes on the bathroom floor.
Of course, in a perfect world, these bad habits will not have been allowed to develop in the first place, but my world is not perfect, and neither, I fear, is yours. Therefore, it is imperative that we recognize that, and act accordingly. Bad habits can be corrected, but it does not require that we blow a head gasket doing so. Part of the process is accepting the fact that there are going to be obstacles in the way of perfection, and not the ones you keep tripping over.
No, the obstacles have more to do with how consistent we are as parents. Do we model the expected behavior? Are our expectations realistic? All of this gets jumbled together, and out of the resulting morass is a pattern of behavior. Knowing this in advance, allows us to see that when things do not go optimally, we do ourselves a service by being able to accept that fact.
Note, I am not suggesting that we pick up after our kids, in order to retain our good spirits, only that we not be too hard, on either them or ourselves, when the pile-ups occur. And of course, I didn’t even mention the things that we find it advantageous to accept about our spouses, in the same spirit of acceptance.
“Let it go.” It’s sound advice, because, if you let it go, voluntarily, then it’s less likely to sneak up and bite you in the backside.