I found out some more information for one of the steps in my grand master plan yesterday. It's not exactly what I hoped for, but it will help. But this kind of thing is why I'm not saying exactly what the grand master plan is yet.
Yesterday, Kathy and I started talking about the grand master plan with the kids. They asked if it was a secret, so we had to explain the nature of uncertainty, and why grownups don't like to share their plans with the world right away, necessarily, when they aren't sure it's all going to work out. I am not sure they got it. I'm not sure I get it. Why is it that it is so scary to let people in on things that might not exactly, precisely, work out how you hope or plan? Is it scary for everyone, or just for me? I don't know.
Maybe it's because I don't like my failures to be public. Maybe it's because I'm somehow afraid of jinxing things. Maybe it's because I grew up with two siblings, and if you tell your siblings you want something, sometimes it makes them go after it for themselves, and then you can't have it. Maybe it's because failure is embarrassing. I don't want to have to tell everyone that oh yeah, that thing I was so excited about... well, I wasn't quite good enough.
Whatever the reason, it's a difficult line to walk. You really need to tell kids enough that they don't feel like they have been lied to, or like you keep secrets from them. But at the same time, once you tell a kid something, it's pretty much in the public domain. Last year, we got A a Bop It for her birthday. It's this crazy talking annoying game thing. C got so excited that when he handed her the still-wrapped package, and she said, "Oh, I wonder what this is," he yelled "BOP IT!!!!!!" at the top of his lungs. The older kids are slightly better, but still. You get my point.
It's a difficult line to walk with everyone for me, though, not just the kids. It's something I constantly struggle against, the urge to keep all my plans secret from everyone except Kathy, and then unveil them when I am sure that things will work out. But I am learning that this often results in people who would like to be close to me feeling like they aren't really important to me, or like they aren't a part of my life. It makes my parents think that I make snap decisions, when really my decisions are well-thought out and planned. I just don't let them in on the planning part.
I'm not saying discretion is never warranted. I actually think it's kind of warranted with respect to step one of my grand master plan, which is why I'm not putting it up for all the public to see. But for me, there comes a point where keeping things private stops being about discretion and starts being about fear -- the fear of public failure, the fear of disapproval, the fear that I will actually have to go through with it if people know about it. But the whole reason that I started this blog was to create a space to talk about the changes in my life and what they feel like and what I learn. Which I can't really do if I don't put it out there. So I promise, I will. Which, for me, is a change in and of itself.