I’m not losing my marbles, I know right where I planted them

picstitchI didn’t get to attend the Orange Conference this year, but tracked along–mostly while waiting in carlines for the four Scotts Tots– via Twitter and the #OC13 hashtag.

Trending during Reggie Joiner’s session was a quote from a book he wrote called “Losing Your Marbles: Playing for Keeps“. Basically, if you put a marble in a jar for each week of your child’s life from birth until high school graduation then remove a marble each week, you’ll see how many you have left. It’s a powerful visual. So much so that there’s even an app called “Legacy Countdown” that lets you see how many weeks (or marbles) you have left with each of your kids!

Throughout conference week, people used the app to calculate the weeks left with their children and posted this quote along with the picture of how many weeks they had left:

“When you see how much time you have left, you tend to do more with the time you have now.”

Comments being left on these infographics, Instagrams and TwitPics were along the lines of,

  • “Wow.”
  • “Please make it stop!”
  • “It’s going too quickly.”
  • “I have so little left.”
  • “Scary.”

I have to admit, these diffident comments upset me.

You see, I’ve been making a concerted effort to fully engage with and invest in my four children. I chose to leave a career that I triple-heart loved to intentionally focus on each individual child since day one of them being home from the hospital or the airport. I felt that they were more worth my time and effort than a paycheck.

I’m not a robot, and I will miss my children when they leave home to embark on new post-graduation adventures. I think the tinge of wistfulness I felt about sending each child off to kindergarten might return at high school graduation, but I have to hope that the tiny drop of sadness I feel for myself will again be completely and utterly deluged in my elation for them.

I have so much confidence in the work that I’ve been doing in their growing up years that I admit, I’m eager to see my investment pay off. I can’t wait to sit back and watch them navigate the world on their own two feet putting the skills and practices I’ve helped them learn to use in the “real world” outside of our four walls.

So I don’t look at those countdowns and feel sad or sick or scared. I’m excited for the launch! I get Jerry McGuire “Show me the money!” ecstatic thinking about the ROI that will be my kids in their future years.

That thought has me digging deep and investing generously in anticipation of the payoff. And I’d like to change my visual metaphor from marbles to seeds. Each time I take one out of the jar, I’m planting it. Knowing that I’ve prepared the soil, gone after those weeds with a vengeance, nurtured that seed, paid attention to the climate and adjusted accordingly.

I’m  not losing my marbles, I’m confidently and carefully sowing them knowing that astounding, exquisite, breathtaking things are getting ready to grow in their seasons.


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