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Showing posts with the label Life Lessons

Handling Disappointments Appropriately

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Disappointments come our way from time to time. It’s how we handle those disappointments that matter. For example, I recently learned that a big-time Catholic catalogue would not carry my book, Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity: Finding Patience, simply because I self-published the book. It didn’t matter to them that the book was named a 2016 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist. In fact, they commented that they thought it was a really good book. They just don’t like dealing with my printing company. For that reason alone, they were declining to carry the book in their catalogue. My immediate reaction: Major disappointment!

Handling Disappointments Appropriately
With every disappointment there are lessons to learn; lessons that can shape your future for the better. Let’s face it: no one ever learns anything from success. They learn from failure. So, what am I going to do about this disappointment?

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Turning Anger Around

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If you’re active in parenting social media groups and the blogosphere, you know that we talk a lot about ways we can be more patient with our kids, more kind, more balanced. We talk about ways to get over anger and stop yelling. And all of this is important. The next time I have a rough week with the kids, I’ll probably be reading more such tips. At the same time, there’s a different perspective I think we need to consider once in a while. Sometimes, it seems likewe can place too much pressure on ourselves and, collectively, on each other, to be perfect. Basically, if you take a look around at parenting pictures, stories and tips, we’re often telling each other in subtle ways that to be good parents, we need to be happy most if not all of the time. And, we’re sometimes saying: when you’re not happy, try not to show it. The basic logic here is that we want to be fair and kind to our kids. We want to be strong for them. We don’t want to react hastily or for the wrong reasons. We don’t …

Life Lessons from a 1,000 Piece Puzzle

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I’m not sure if they are still around, but do you remember the “Love Is…” cartoons?
They had simple little drawings and a completion to the “Love Is…” sentence starter that almost always made you say “Aww! How sweet!”
You know:

Love is…sharing your last cookie
Love is…going skating when you’d rather be at the movies
Love is…holding hands under a starry night sky
Lately (okay I say “lately” but what I mean is in the last decade or two) I notice that just about everything I do could be a completion of a “Life is…” sentence starter.
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Bi-Location and Other Necessary Motherhood Skills

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I glanced at the clock when I heard my husband say to my oldest son, “Call me when you get home.”
“Where is he?” I asked.
When my husband replied, “He’s on his way home from work,” my stomach began churning. Not the hunger-type churn but the worried-mother-type churn. Our son had purchased a home just months before and was still getting a handle on things but between work and other demands, it wasn’t easy. My husband and I—and his brothers—had all helped out with painting, cutting the lawn, some electrical and lighting things and so on.
It took all our willpower (my husband’s and mine) not to completely take over, but to just be available to help if and as needed. We wanted to take care of our son, get him set up in his new house. Mostly, I wanted—needed, really—to know that he was “okay” and that he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the demands of new home ownership.
The point of the call was to set up a date and a time that my husband would be able to come and help with another task. To hear …

Satisfaction

It's such a good feeling to be satisfied. To know that you are full up (with well-being, not necessarily food), not missing a thing and quite content, is very pleasant, and really, quite a peaceful feeling.
To be satisfied is quite a trick, in part because through the powerful influence of advertising we're supposed to keep buying, to keep wanting, to always be needing the latest thing. Products have built-in obsolescence; clothing, for instance, since the inception of moveable type and the advent of printed news has become 'fashion' with 'seasons' which have an increasingly short shelf-life. There is a general mindset in our society to be always striving for more: bigger house, better car, clearer skin, promotion, and so on. Perhaps that mindset is part of our genetic code, but now that we're not striving for survival, we're striving for excess (often mistaken to be success)
To be satisfied is to be free. When you are not under the influence of the littl…

What dreams may come

I’ve been thinking about dreams. Not the ‘lay your head and close your eyes’ kind; rather the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ kind. It’s good to keep in touch with the little person you were who wasn’t afraid to dream big, brave dreams. The heart of who you are now grew from the seeds that dreamer planted long ago.
A friend recently asked me what my dreams were, and I was appalled to not have an answer. I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to do. What had become of wanting or hoping for things, no matter how wild and implausible? There used to be many things I wanted to have a go at: archaeology, hot air ballooning, doo-wop girl, acting, Spanish, travel to Russia, developing elegant penmanship.... It was a long and varied list of things possible, and unlikely; long desired, and impromptu.
Then what happened? Life took on a day-follows-day quality and my focus became survival. I chose the path of simplicity and abandonment – both qualities of which are true, good, and be…

When life brings you nettles

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Imagine someone bought you a bunch of flowers, nicely wrapped in pretty paper with a big bow, and when you unwrapped them, you found a bunch of nettles and stung your fingers... :( You wouldn't be very happy, would you?

In many ways, this last week has been the equivalent of receiving a bunch of nettles as a gift. It's been fraught and tiring and full of *worry-potential*, trying to juggle work, family, grandchildren, my Mum who is in hospital and is likely to be in some kind of rehabilitation for weeks to come until she's mobile again. Plus, on top of all this, trying to keep a home, eat well, do the shopping and just generally remember a hundred and one things at any one time. Nettles...

But, I learned a great lesson about nettles this week, after my eldest Grandson and I had a "discover and learn" day on Saturday. We harvested a good crop of nettles from behind the house, and turned them from nasty and stingy to really rather lovely! We made nettle soup which…