The kids didn’t have water polo or soccer practice on this particular day. I had to run an errand at the mall and they decided they wanted to come with me. Both wanted to come along. I kinda wanted to go by myself. One wanted to come with just me and to leave the other behind. The other one insisted their homework was complete and that they really wanted to come along and to spend some time together. How could I resist? But there was going to be some conflict. Isn’t there always a little conflict?
I decided to invite both to join me for some family practice time. We had to practice getting along and working together and figuring out how to get along without bugging each other. Isn’t that what families are about?
They got in the car and I set the agenda, letting my captive audience know what to expect and requesting that they silence their electronic devices. Can you imagine no Snapchat? Tonight we were having a family practice night, instead of soccer practice or polo practice. Tonight we were going to practice listening and cooperating and being patient and kind. Boy, did we practice. And as you know, with practice, there is a lot of repetition.
We practiced several drills, such as choosing our words, taking turns, ignoring the endless snaps and texts that vied for our attention. We practiced patience and listening and not requesting everything we saw. We practiced waiting and not competing with each other. We practiced delaying gratification and not always getting what we want when we want it. We practiced not rolling our eyes and saying, “Gosh” all the time. We practiced holding hands, going with the flow, and putting our arms around each other. And we practiced breaking bread together.
All in all it was a good night, mixed with a little resistance along the way. I am thankful that my not so little ones wanted to join me on this night for some family togetherness and practicing all that is good.
After all, aren’t we all just practicing in this dress rehearsal called life?
What are you practicing with your family? I wish you success, peace and love!
Have a good week! xoxo
I’ve been thinking about opinions lately.
In my family, we have lots of opinions and strong feelings and ideas. We are not afraid to share them and debate them and argue our sides. We are passionate and rather confident with what we each believe, which is healthy and great, but having lots of opinions can sometimes and most times, conflict and bounce against each other creating friction and tension.
I’m not even talking about philosophical opinions. Just basic and strong opinions, like which way the toilet paper roll should hang, or whether we should go for a hike. Sometimes they are over where people should sit. I mean these are really important things to feel strongly about and to discuss and debate, am I right?
The last couple of times I’ve been home, I’ve been practicing having less opinions and listening more than talking. Can I just tell you how much peace I experienced? Maybe I even offered peace to others through my stillness and acceptance of what was and by not reacting to opinions that were different than mine. I actually enjoyed listening to the debates and not partaking in the conversation, except as a listener, smiling and nodding. I didn’t feel any tension or stress and this was an A-HA moment. I let people be and didn’t try to move the ocean current of debate in any particular direction. I was just present.
I thought about the Girls’ trips I’ve been on and how much joy I experienced in this type of setting. One of the reasons why I love them so much, is because everyone just goes with the flow and the opinions about what to eat, where to go and what to do are carefree and easy and there is usually immediate group consensus without conflict. An A-HA connection! Our opinions are in alignment, almost immediately.
Now I’m not advocating being boring and a bump on a log without any feelings or expressions. I’m just wondering if we practice being a little bit more accepting and flowing with other people’s opinions without feeling as strongly about our own or thinking that they are wrong, that we might swirl our ideas together like dance partners and just enjoy being in the moments together a little longer, in sync. We might just celebrate our gifts versus our gaps. Just sayin’
Well, that’s just my opinion. 😉
I love my crazy family.
We have been together in hotel rooms for the past 4 nights and have had messed up schedules and are still going strong. We’ve had our woes of togetherness but are still in love and ready to keep on exploring.
Today we moseyed on home and stopped at places we wanted to see along the way. We enjoyed the journey and didn’t focus on the final destination.
Our first stop off the beaten highway was Santa Margarita. We wanted to see where the Pozo Saloon was located. The drive out here was gorgeous.
It was fun to drive down roads we’ve never been on before and to imagine what it would be like to live in a remote part of a town.
From here we continued on and stopped to tour the Firestone Walker Brewery. Again, this is a place we always want to visit, but we are typically focused on the destination and don’t want to stop and slow down. Today we slowed and enjoyed a tasty lunch and brewery tastings.
As we drove, we were invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with April’s family. We were then excited to be home, but weren’t done just being on the road, as we had one more curiosity to explore.
ML and her family were camping at the beach and we decided to stop in for a quick happy hour and to wrap up our vacation with friends. This happy hour did not include food nor drink – just an hour of togetherness walking and talking and watching the sunset.
I loved that my family rallied to stop at the beach one more time and to visit with friends! I am lucky!!
And finally, we hurried up to make it home in time to enjoy dinner with April. She had prepared dumpling fixins’ and we arrived in time to help with the assembly. We all had a blast!
And now, even I am tired and am so happy to be back in my own nest again with all my little chickens in their coops. We are fully baked! Time to rest.
Life is good, living it up every day, every way I can. Hope you’re doing the same. xoxo
Not all fighting is bad.
For example, I’m fighting some kind of sickness right now. It wants to take over my throat and head and I want to push it away.
It kept me up throughout the night last night and I kept waking hoping that I wouldn’t be sick in the morning for my tennis match.
Ibuprofen took the pain away. It was a good mask. I was able to play and forget about the pain. Maybe it was mind over matter. Or maybe it was the adrenalin in my body that made me not feel it or think about it, while I was playing to win.
My partner and I won our doubles playoff match. Our team was not as fortunate in their fight. One friend tore a muscle in her leg and had to default. The other team put up a strong fight but was defeated in the end. Our one winning court was not enough to take us to the district finals in Sacramento. I am disappointed and accept the defeat. We did our best, and as I always tell my kids, that is good enough. It was a beautiful day and even though we lost, we still had the benefit of spending time together in the sunshine playing our favorite sport with our friends. After our matches, we share a friendly lunch or dinner with our opponents. We toasted their win with champagne and enjoyed the shared love of the game, wishing them well as they move on to represent our area. I am happy for them and sad for us.
After the game, I came home and relaxed for awhile. I started to feel sick again, yet made it through dinner with my family. I decided to continue to fight this sickness thing and climbed into bed before 8pm. Sleep and rest is good for the body. Juliana also says cucumbers are good for fighting colds and almonds are good for fighting migraines. These are a couple of the life hacks she read after dinner. Do you think these hacks could be true? I’m curious but was too full to try any more foods. Tomorrow is another day.
My little sweetheart brought me throat lozenges, Airborne tablets and water to help me feel better. And as I sat to write, I noticed the love note she left on my cup.
I am a lucky mama with a BIG LOVE for a daughter. Thank you for being my angel, sweet girl.
Be well, BeLovers!
P.S. Happy Birthday, to my little sister today. I’m glad you’re living in this world with me! I love your soul and gentleness. Thanks, mama and papa for giving her to us. xoxo