I’m grocery shopping on a Saturday morning.
It’s crowded and I’m behind two elderly ladies who are walking slowly. I want to go faster. I feel anxious. But I keep frustration at bay. When the lane clears, I will get past them. Besides, someday, I, too, will have white hair, age spots and arthritis. They are cute. Are they sisters?
Suddenly, someone sighs heavily behind me. His cart dashes passed me and then passed the ladies, to our left. He is a very fit and tan man in his thirties. Swiftly, he parks his cart in front of the glass doors, reaches for yogurt and throws it into his cart. He scurries out of sight.
How dare he! He could hurt someone! What a menace…
My indignation softens. I actually feel sorry for him. He’s in some kind of pain which manifests itself this way. If he was happy, he wouldn’t act that way.
Choosing to see him in this light, my anger dissolves.
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I went to the mall last weekend and looked at these products. They were not discounted, so I didn’t buy them.
Today, one of my 5th grade students presented me with them! Funny how that happens! In big letters, they say “Stress Relief.” As we near the end of the school year, stress relief is key. He is so thoughtful!
I wrote an email to his mother to thank her. She emailed me back:
“As for the gift, that was all “M.”* He used his money and it was his idea this year.”
He used his money! He’s in 5th grade and earns money by working for a hockey organization. What an amazing kid.
Teaching kids like him gives me so much hope and optimism for the future. Our kids are hard-working, thoughtful, intelligent, and just good to the core. They make me feel like everything is going to be OK.
I’m grateful to be a teacher and work with amazing kids each day.
Our family (my husband, two teenager daughters and I) had fallen into a habit of eating dinner together and then retreating to our rooms to do homework, watch TV and write. We were together many hours a week, but we weren’t interfacing much. I longed for that connection, but evening walks fell by the wayside and watching movies together (which we all enjoy!) was not exactly interactive.
Our girls have adopted snarky, rebellious attitudes. It’s normal, but I felt like it could alienate us as parents if we didn’t talk more. The girls once mentioned a fun card game. I logged onto Amazon.com.
20 minutes in and we’re laughing and discussing our answers. Yes, it isn’t exactly “politically correct.” But it’s funny and the girls find it very compelling. The game is hilarious and we all enjoy it. It’s not for everyone – just “horrible people”.
It’s not what you do, but how you do what you do.
She reluctantly volunteered to host the party. And then she complained and stressed about it for months. At last, the day arrived. She greeted the guests with a weary smile and they didn’t feel welcome at all. In fact, a good number of them wanted to leave right right away. Her mood colored the evening a dirty gray.
As the party ended, she uttered aloud, “Thank goodness it’s over!”
The guests felt the same way.
All that time, energy, and money wasted.
If you don’t want to do it. Don’t.
If you have to do it, then accept it. Accept the situation completely.
But if you can, enjoy doing it. Spread love, not regret.
She used to treat us to McDonald’s every once in awhile, with money she earned selling Avon. We enjoyed sitting with her. My mom always beamed at us with love and pride.
I take my girls out for treats, too. I hope they look back someday (as I do) and remember these good times.
Mom used to visit me in the middle of the night with medicine and a hug when I was sick.
I do the same for my daughters.
Mom used to drive us to violin, cello, piano and Tae Kwon Do lessons.
I drive my daughters to violin lessons, rehearsals, auditions and concerts, too.
Mom was always quick with words of encouragement, compassion and unconditional love.
I try to do the same, but she was (and is) better at it, definitely.
My mother taught me how to be a good parent and a good person. She’s still teaching me this.
Every nurturing mother in the world is the reason we have the compassion, love and support that we pass on.