Friday, November 26, 2010

Packing with the Right Side of the Brain

A while back, I made a realization about myself (which I've shared here before) that I was a good Initiator, but not a good Maintainer -- a good short-term project person, but a less-good long-term project person. I remember sharing this with my hubby as a positive thing, as in "Look what I've found I'm good at; a lot of other people aren't good at this."

And at the time, I had to almost laugh at him, because although he seemed to be genuinely trying to be positive and supportive of me, he couldn't express the idea in anything but negative terms. "You're not very good at . . . You don't like to . . . It's harder for you to . . . You're not really made to . . . " What I couldn't do well was so much in the forefront of his mind (because it bugged him) that he couldn't set it aside and genuinely see value in the things I could do well.

We're in Kansas City for Thanksgiving, and this morning I was looking through the stuff my eldest packed for herself. I have learned not to monitor her packing anymore because we end up just driving each other crazy -- she usually manages to get all the major necessities into her suitcase (thanks to her general anxieties about traveling), so I try not to mess with her process. But she had a little bag in the hotel bathroom this morning that caught my eye.

In it, she has hair supplies (barrettes, clips, pony-tail holders, headbands, etc.) to create probably 20 different hairdos. For a three-day trip. 90% of which are items I haven't seen her wear in years. This includes some clip-on purple braids from Halloween, which I can't imagine when she thought she was going to wear on this trip. She also brought her razor -- which would be appropriate except that I know this is "no-razor month" among her crowd at East High (wonder who thought up that one) and she is NOT going to be shaving her legs until the middle of next week. She also has three CDs spilling out of her stuffed-to-the-gills suitcase -- which she cannot listen to in the hotel room or at her Aunt Vicki's, and were packed away where she couldn't get to them in the van for the ride up, so they have been of no use to her so far. (I'm also remembering our week in Disney when we got there and I found she had packed nine pairs of shoes -- for an eight-day trip.)

My point is that my daughter is a right-brained packer. She seems to look around her room, see something (such as, the purple Halloween clip-on braids), think "I like that! Maybe I'll want that on the trip!", and just pack it. She doesn't seem to consider when or where or how she is likely to use that item on that particular trip and whether it is worth taking up the space it does in her luggage. She might use it -- so in it goes. Whereas her left-brained mother thinks, "What will I need?" and limits herself to that.

I choose today to appreciate the way my daughter's mind works. This is Possibility Thinking. This is the stuff that visionaries are made of. Now, at some point, when she's left our home, she will have to find a left-brained friend or husband or employee who can take her mother's place in helping her make her visions happen. But praise God for vision! Where would the world be without it? Lord, keep me from stifling what you made her to do with my bellyaching about efficiency.

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