Archives for July, 2011
Too many chiefs and not enough indians! my mom would cry. She'd ask for a small, simple piece of help (Would you please grab one end of this coffee table?)... ...and instead we'd pepper her with unsolicited questions and opinions and advice: Why are you moving it? It looks fine here! Are you sure you're supposed to be lugging furniture around? What about your back? It's about time you got rid of that coffee table, and the sofa's pretty shabby, too. You really ought to break down and spend some money on new furniture. What will the neighbors think? Have you ever used Murphy's soap; it might take out that stain....
A dad complained to me that he and his wife have different disciplinary styles. He's stricter; she tends to let things go. And his wife will contradict him. The family will all be at the dinner table, and he'll say something to one of the kids about their manners, and his wife will tell him to stop being so picky. He's worried that the kids are being confused, that inconsistent messages are harmful, that the kids won't develop any manners because of the conflicting information. Here's what I said:
Summer is such a magical time, and it passes too quickly. It's the perfect time to start, or renew, your gratitude journal. The concept is simple: There's beauty and pleasure all around us, but we often don't notice it or get enough enjoyment out of it, because we're focused on all our pressures and problems. Keeping a gratitude journal gets us to: Change our focus and scan our environment for pleasures, not problems. Notice and savor the good things, spend more time enjoying them. Indulge in their details by describing them in writing. Hold on to them by recording them. I began actively retraining my focus in this manner many years ago, so that by now I automatically notice simple pleasures I dare say most people do not.