When should I get a girlfriend says my 9 year old; identifying & escaping boxed in thinking

I was looking forward to this past weekend.  Really looking forward to it.  Both my husband and oldest kid were out of town, leaving some precious 1:1 time with my youngest.  After dropping off my oldest at the ferry terminal to visit his grandparents my youngest and I headed back to the van, hand in hand, dancing between the rain drops along the way.

Settled back in the van, me with my diet coke and him with his hot chocolate, we hit the highway home.  The rain beat a comfortable backbeat to the rhythm of the windshield wipers, which were doing their best to clear a path through the soggy ride home.

Sitting behind me in his car seat, my 9 year old hit me with one of those question that make you pause, take a breath and then pause again, as you gather your thoughts and wonder what to say in response.

“Mom when should I get a girlfriend?” he asked in matter of fact voice.

His question set off a lovely, free flowing conversation the whole ride home.  Quiet, uninterrupted time to talk about the BIG things in life – his expectations of himself, other’s expectations, and why girls seem to hate it when boys chase them but then afterwards they like those boys more.

It made me think about how if we live unexamined lives, that is if we don’t pause and hit the reflection button, we can end up operating under someone else’s instruction manual.  We need to live our lives deliberately, that is taking time to:

  • examine whether you’re going with the flow because you’ve fallen under the thumb of your boss, your partner, or that must-have product that marketers work so hard to convince you is a must have
  • examine whether you’re living life according to your own values and principals

If we don’t live deliberately we risk not recognizing the boxes we unwittingly put around our thinking which leads to a whole series of “I must do this, I have to do that, I should……” instead of “I choose to, I want to, I’m delighted to….”

Orchestrate your own life.  Identify the boxes you have around your thinking.  Then it’s much easier to decide when it’s time to get a girlfriend.


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3 Responses to “When should I get a girlfriend says my 9 year old; identifying & escaping boxed in thinking”

  1. Julie Szabo Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Great reminder to take the time to evaluate what you really want, not just what others want for you. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    April 29th, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Hi Julie; thanks for your comment. I wonder how often the one substitutes for the other, that is how often what others want for us is what we think we want. I think wondering about when one ‘should’ get a girlfriend (when you’re 9!) is a great example of absorbing other’s expectations – not that what others want for us is always bad, just needs some examination from time to time.

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