Confession time. I love a good Pie Chart. I find them visually appealing and I love how they capture and reflect important information in a concise way. Pie Charts are great for assessing proportions but limited in reflecting priorities. A Pie Chart will tell you how much of something you have, it will not tell you how important that “something” is.
As parents we need to recognize both the appeal and the limitation of viewing our lives through a Pie Chart mentality. Slicing our lives up into proportions may cause us to fixate on “balance.” Balance has become the Holy Grail of personal health and a major expectation in our role and responsibility as parents. I am not bashing the goal of leading a well-ordered life, but the quest and fixation on “achieving balance” can itself become overwhelming and counterproductive.
Pie Charts promise a better life if we could only get the proportions right.
What if our real life is not a Pie Chart?
What if our real life is a Solar System?
A Solar System does not work because it is “balanced”; it works because it is Centered.
On any given week or month there may be dozens of good opportunities, experiences or activities available to our daughters. How do we as dads and parents navigate through all the programs and possibilities? Here are a few things to consider:
- More is not always better. Plenty of kids today are suffering from an overload of activities. They are very busy doing very good things. We all need some margin in our life, some relaxation, some recreation, some down time with no screens and no activities.
- Schedule the most important things first. Decide what you will make time for, and then put it in your schedule. Once the real priorities are in, let everything else fill in around them.
- A Centered life will find the right balance. Without a clear center, there can be no clear priorities. A dad without real priorities is just managing activities and spinning plates.
What is in the Center of your Solar System? Who or what do you organize and prioritize your whole life around? At the end of the day we all have some Center, some #1 Thing that ultimately defines the orbit of everything else in our world. We need to be honest as dads about what occupies that Center position. Our daughters are watching and waiting to discover what really matters, lets show them.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester