In the past few weeks, I have lost count the amount of times my husband and I have been asked if we have thought about what secondary school we are going to send our daughter to. This may seem like a normal question to you, but the thing is, our daughter is not in 6th class, nor is she in 4th or 5th class. She has just started junior infants!
Yes that’s right. She is not even 3 weeks into her first year at primary school and people are already putting pressure on us to think about about her post primary education. So our response to that question, to many people’s dismay, has been no.
It’s just like when she was born. Instead of focussing on the joy of her being a newborn or an infant, people were putting on the pressure to sign her up for primary school. Neither myself or her father were in the frame of mind to think of what was best for our child in 4 years time, we were just trying to get through and enjoy the moment we were in.
It’s like this secondary school question. Why are we constantly looking forward? Why can’t we enjoy the big milestone our daughter is going through right now? Why do we have to rush ahead to the next moment?
I know the systems don’t help. The fact that when we finally put our daughter’s name down at primary schools (when she had just turned 3) – most schools’ lists were at maximum capacity and then some. Just as some secondary schools are for kids starting in 2023/2024 – that’s just plain mad!
We don’t know what my daughter is going to love at school. What her passions are going to be; her strengths; her weaknesses. How can we make a decision about the right secondary school for her when she has only barely started her primary education? Shouldn’t she also be consulted about her education?
Why is everyone about the next step and not about the moment we are in?
These constant questions about the future are a reflection of where we are as a society right now. Always rushing ahead, planning for the next big thing and not appreciating and enjoying the big thing that is in our presence right now!
This mentality also doesn’t allow for change. It assumes that life is a constant and we can control what lies ahead. Who knows where we are going to be tomorrow, let alone in 8 years time? Will we be in the same place – physically, emotionally, mentally?
The saying goes “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. While it’s great to have a plan, I think we sometimes take this saying to literally and in overpreparing, we lose sight of the amazing possibilities and experiences that are right in front of us!
So, while in the rush to get to the next stop, make sure you “Stop and smell the roses”.