• Hayley Hengst

Stay In Your Lane

This Pandemic World we are living in.

It keeps forcing us to make choices, based on options that aren't good, answers that aren't definitive, and certainties that aren't coming any time soon.

When it came to the choice of schooling for our children, some of us chose in-person.

Others of us chose virtual learning.

Some went with traditional homeschool.

We each made the best possible decision we could make, for our individual families, based upon our specific circumstances, and the limited amount of information and resources available to us.

Now we're each in full gear, marching forward with whichever option we chose, hoping for the best.

Something is coming though. It may have already come. It's.....


The temptation to look around at what each of your friends/acquaintances/neighbors/people on social media are doing, and....second guess yourself, and the decision you made.


I mean, it's not like you felt ALL that confident in what you'd chosen to begin with. How could anyone really, right now? You'd felt reasonably set on it, though. That is, until today, when your friend's day seemed like it went far more smoothly than yours did (you must be doing something wrong). Your niece seems more content and settled into a routine than your kids do (they probably chose a better homeschool curriculum than you did). The moms on social media appear to be rocking it, while you are over here feeling like you're drowning (why can't YOU afford to form a Pandemic Pod and pay a private tutor??). Maybe a well-meaning relative shares a news article with you chock full of data and statistics proving that YOUR method of schooling is doomed to fail. Whatever it may be....there's going to be a temptation and a tendency to doubt yourself, your choices, and your decision-making abilities, and when that happens, you're going to have to


STAY IN YOUR LANE


Keep your eyes focused straight ahead. No need to look to the right or the left at what everyone else is doing, saying, and suggesting. You just do you. Stay in your lane.


I'll be honest and say that I haven't really struggled too much with this "stay in your lane" concept, when it comes to school choices. I don't really CARE what everyone else is doing, or what their thoughts are on what I'M doing. For one thing, I kind of think it's ALL gonna be a crap show, in some form or fashion. For another, I believe that even if this year is a total wash, my kids, aged preschool, first grade, and fifth grade, are going to ultimately be just fine, and this is not going to be the ruining of them.


That doesn't mean I don't struggle to Stay in My Lane in other areas, though.


For one thing, I'm a fairly indecisive person by nature. I can see the pros and cons, and every side of, just about EVERYTHING. This makes me very susceptible to looking around at everyone else, taking in what THEY are doing, and then forming my own opinions based upon that. I'm all up in EVERYONE'S lane. I'm basically a drunk-driver, swerving and weaving in and out.


And then the biggie...


Recently divorced, with a shared custody situation (and a new woman on the scene), it's a constant struggle to try to not draw comparisons. "Is he doing more fun things with the kids than I am?" "Do they like his house better than mine?" "What are their thoughts on HER?" I could go on and on, but I'll spare you (and if you've been in my shoes, I don't NEED to go on, as you already know the Flood of Thoughts I'm referring to). What I've recently realized though is...you guessed it...I have to just Stay in My Lane. "Here's what I'M doing with the kids." "Here's the memories WE'RE making." "Here's what life looks like over here at OUR house". Doesn't matter what he does or doesn't do. I'm not looking over there. I'm staying in my lane. I'm doing me.


It's calming, really.


Whether it's a goal you are working towards, a parenting philosophy you've adopted, the way you choose to structure your day, the way you choose to spend your money, or the things you've decided to stay away from, don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Just Stay in Your Lane. Eyes on the Prize.


It will help keep you from falling victim to the Thief of Comparison.


It's valuable also though when it comes to the concept of not being a judge-y little thang. As it turns out, you can let OTHER people stay in THEIR lane, too.


You think she's an idiot for sending her kids to in-person school? Whatever! Stay in Your Lane, and let her Stay In Hers.


Don't like who they're voting for? You don't have to! Stay in Your Lane and vote for who you want!


Can't figure out why in the world they'd (fill in the blank. Whatever it is you can't figure out why in the world someone would do). No need to figure it out! Just stay over there in your lane. You don't even have to look at them. (As they sit there and drink that coffee with all that nasty creamer in it. Just sayin')


It isn't easy. I'm terrible at it. I'm trying to grow in this area, though. Anyone want to try it with me?







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