Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's not how you start, it's how you finish

For the past two weekends, I’ve been watching my friend’s kids and seeing how their days have been filled.  They are growing up in a city….lots of friends around - playing in the neighborhood, playing at each others houses, etc. I also noticed that when they are at the house by themselves, they don’t seem to know what to do without guidance - someone helping with choices or engaging in an activity with them.  They know how to physically play – with their imagination, toys, draw, sports, etc.  But if left to their own devices, they tend to go to the old standby – screens of some kind (iPad, Xbox, cell phone).   Those observations made me think more deeply about how I grew up, and I saw correlations to some things I've been struggling with as I try to make healthy changes now as an adult.  

I grew up in a house out in the country.  In that environment, you don’t really have a lot of friends nearby. I was lucky enough to have my grandma and cousin a mile away, and a few childhood friends just as far - but the rest were in the city.  There’s no popping over to each others houses for playtime throughout the day – play dates needed to be planned, setup, and were usually very sporadic. In addition to this, my parents owned their own businesses.  If I wasn't able to be out and about, I had a lot of time at home alone.  And when I was on my own, there were a couple standby's I went to.

My go-to's were screens as well (in the form of tv) and food…..both of which I helped myself to quite regularly.  For many, many years that’s how I filled most of my time at home.  And since most of those years are a time of development and learning what day to day life means,  it meant that I had developed habits that centered around my go-to's.

Now, it would be easy to blame my parents.  In fact, for a few years I probably did. But really, when I think about that more - they were busy being an example to me in another way.  They had a combination of midwestern work ethic and coming from farming families - which meant they worked a lot, worked hard, and built their own businesses as a result.

So, now the question is… do I twist it all.  How do I use the qualities I have from my parents that they modeled in having their own businesses….and create a healthy, consistent day to day routine, knowing what my mind and body has been used to.

It’s going to take a lot of effort, but it can be done.  It's not how you start, it’s how you finish.