Family Planning

Family Planning Blog Photo of an Open Door Leading Outside

Every day is a day to remember. I started writing this on Memorial Day, when we remember those brave and selfless soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our country and defending our freedoms. The Friday before, I remembered my friend Conor, who passed away last year at only forty years young. I regularly remember my sister Beth, my father Don, who passed away in 2011, and his wife Paula, who died five years later in 2016. 

One of the most impactful times I also remember was when I finally gathered enough courage to ask Paula what she wanted me to do with everything. The two houses, the car, the four storage units, the accounts, and all the stuff. She sat there quietly, bundled up in her blankets, an awkward silence filling the room. I was ready with my pen and notepad to write down instructions. More silence. She finally looked up at me and said two words, “family planning,” with a gentle and confident nod. I wrote that down and waited for details, but there were none. A couple moments later, she exclaimed, “You’re a big boy…… you’ll figure it out!” 

Irish teacher and poet John O’Donohue has a chapter devoted to this in his beautiful book, “To Bless the Space Between Us.” The chapter is entitled “Thresholds,” and while I found myself on the edge of one then, I believe all of us find ourselves at the edge of one now. O’Donohue wrestles with whether we have rituals to protect, encourage and guide us as we cross over into an area which is unknown to us. 

Do we? I asked the same question then, I find myself asking now – “WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?”

A simple definition I found for threshold is a point of entry or beginning. Since I envisioned all the activities starting back up again after COVID, the word which stuck the most was “re-entry,” and it is very interesting and sometimes bizarre to witness this happening across the community every day now.

The good news is, we’ll all figure it out too. Hopefully we can accept our personal responsibility and figure out exactly what it is we need to do and where we go from here. I imagine that will happen one day at a time, one hour at a time, or perhaps just one moment at a time. Perhaps it does make sense to “go slow to go fast” as my recent coaching instructor Andrew encouraged. What does that look like for you? Who is on your success team to help you get there?