Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016: Spontaneity

Ben's home! Off on another random drive.
A carefully planned calendar goes a long way for me. I look ahead to a weekly view full of colored-coded entries on future time commitments.

Bliss for an organized mind.

And then there are my kids. Do they accomplish a lot in a day? Yes. Do they have color-coded planners? Heck no.

The three Lane boys have many similarities and differences in their personalities. One similarity that I have always innately known, but is now officially documented, is their shared strength of 'Adaptability'. Per their individual Gallup Strengthsfinder Assessments, all three possess this as a Top 5 Talent.

Adaptability (definition per my friends at Gallup):  People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be "now" people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.

Well that pretty much sums it up. They live in the moment.

The good news is that in an effort to connect and guide my "now" children, I can deviate from my calendar and meet them halfway. Although not a dominant strength, I can live in Adaptability on occasion. Meeting halfway with the other important people in our life is a journey worth the effort.

An example of where adaptability meets organized can be chronicled with an ordinary day from last week.

Thursday:
Sandy (a.k.a. me or Mom), high in Activator (impatiently turns thoughts into action) is frantically strategizing ideas on a current project (Top Talent = Strategic: Faced with any given scenario can quickly spot relevant issues). My computer keyboard is on fire with the only background sound that of a lawn mower through my opened window. I am highlighting the actions items while finding resolution to the checklist of issues in front of me. I'm 'in the zone'.

Ben (a.k.a. middle child or free spirit) is working through the transition of moving from college back to home while nestling into his new quarters of the basement man cave. All while removing his mother's favored children's grade school artwork from the basement walls with replacement hockey posters and other pieces of his favored sports memorabilia.

The cleaning ladies arrive at 1:00 p.m.

Sandy, worried about her list, and Ben, worried about his man cave, came up with a departure plan. Knowing our tag team of cleaning gals perform better without either of us under foot,we simply got in my car and drove out of the neighborhood.

With two hours to blow and my computer list and his man cave to-do's left at home, we found consensus. Spontaneity. I conformed to going with the flow. This is one of our favorite mom/son activities. No plan. Just figure it out as we go.

Spontaneity took me to the Interstate as I drove without a plan. Ben instinctively knew where my thinking was going.

"Old Market, Mom?"

Me: " I thought that would be fun. We could check out progress on the M's Pub rebuild, grab lunch and then go to the candy store."

Ben: "Yeah. I knew you were thinking the candy store. I was totally thinking the Old Market candy store too."

Zio's
So that's what we did. Zio's pizza for lunch while viewing progress of the M's renovation across the street. And then a leisurely walk to the corner candy and antique store. We laughed and we talked as we looked at the vintage displays and items for sale. And, of course, we bought gummie sharks and Swedish fish in bulk on our way out.

Arriving home at 4:00 p.m., the cleaning ladies were long gone. My computer and to-do lists were waiting patiently, as was Ben's man cave. Our spontaneity was golden although nothing we did was a color-coded planned event on my calendar.

Going with the flow is the best parental compromise that I make and one I probably don't do near enough. With my expectation of my highly adaptable children to have more structure, this seems like a fair compromise.

And it's amazing how my list of planned family chores and daily tasks seem less daunting when we take a little unplanned fun time on occasion. Adaptability. I can get used to this...

Shopping the antiques and 'chillin'

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