Last Tuesday our family sat down for a special family meal. It was one night we were all home for dinner, plus I blogged that day how I was going to have a family time of setting our goals for the year.
Talk about a fail!!
My children subscribe to, and read, my blog. It started years ago when Princess wanted to know what I had written about her. It was also an excellent integrity check for me with being truthful and accountable.
Fast forward last Tuesday evening. As I lifted the paper with the discussion questions, Princess commented she knew what was coming after reading my blog that day.
I had previously warned everyone and asked them to have thought about their personal goals for the year.
Matey had sought me out earlier that day and told me he didn’t want to set any goals this year. I listened, tried to communicate understanding, and then asked about several areas of his life – Air Force Cadets, swimming, and school, and if he wanted to go the next step in those areas. He immediately said yes and told me what he wanted. I affirmed him and shared that they were his 2021 goals. He looked relieved that he had ‘completed’ it.
My goal of this significant family time was to each come away with written goals personally and several as a family unit, including holidays and travel.
Hubby exhausted from a long, hot day outside at work. Princess and Matey firing on all fours, full of jokes and smart answers. Me single-minded, wanting to achieve a specific outcome. Not a great atmosphere setting.
Reflecting on last year, the teenagers promptly realized that ‘wearing a mask’ could be the answer to every question. This set the scene.
In a fraction of time, I felt impatience and frustration rising within me. I could ‘pull rank’ and have everyone, orderly but tense, writing goals for the year or I could lean into the new and imperfect.
I had a choice.
I could become frustrated and express my disappointment and no-one taking my desires and plans seriously, or I could lean into this and create a new family memory.
A split-second choice. Go with the flow.
I lamented aloud about another family who has the ‘perfect’ family life who create a special time to orderly goal set every January.
Both teenagers expressed delight that we were our family, not them.
Laughter filled the air, and we leaned into Covid associated memories as we reflected and chatted. We created a new norm for our family.
Later, with the washing up completed and Princess and I chatting while watching a favourite tv show, Princess leaned in and whispered, “Mum, it’s not that we don’t want to set goals for the year. We just want to do it individually, not as a family.”
Bam!! Lesson learnt.
Failure in our family is not giving something a go. Failure is not – not succeeding.
When I reflect on last Tuesday evening, it wasn’t a failure. I gave it a go. I learnt heaps. I will change things next year.
By the way, everyone has a written list of their goals for 2021. Not just in the way I was planning.