As a part of the Mama Renew classes, the fantastic and wonderful woman leading the group sends us an email with ‘additional reading’, an article chosen to supplement the discussion material we glean from the book.
This month’s was about the things you can do in ten seconds or less that enrich your life.
1. Make your bed. Ohdear. I think I do that three times a year. Actually, I had made an effort for a while a couple of weeks ago, as I recognize that Cameron will never learn to make his bed if I don’t set the example. But it just seemed so silly. I’ve got clothes all over the floor, stuff all over the dresser, my duvet’s cover hasn’t been returned to its proper place after it got washed from the last acquaintance it had with kitty pee. The horrible ‘microfibre’ sheets I have slip and slide everywhere.
2. Use butter. I agree! Wholeheartedly! I love butter. So much better than margarine.
3. Say hello. I honestly try to do this. It seems so pointless to have such distanced, ritualized no-eye-contact interactions with all the people who are in the ‘background’ of our lives. Okay, I don’t say hello to everyone on the street. But I do make a habit of saying hello to at least a handful of people I don’t know every day, and to make eye contact and say it with some meaning.
4. Floss your teeth. Yipes. For a while before last Christmas I did it every single day while Cameron was in the tub. I need to start doing that again. But let’s be honest here, it takes longer than ten seconds.
5. Slow down on the yellow light. I don’t drive. The bus drivers don’t listen to me.
6. Be quiet – stop constantly blaming, criticizing, explaining. This I’m going to have to think on a bit. I agree entirely … but I’m honestly not sure if I over-blame, over-criticize, and over-explain.
7. Rake the leaves. Okay, they use raking the leaves as an example I think, of something you should do because someone has to. The building management company pays someone to come and rake our leaves … but that’s not the point, is it? I’ve been slacking off lately in doing some of the things that I should do simply because someone has to. And I’m the only one who will. But last night I did do a lot. My bathroom, WC (yep, in my apartment the toilet has its own room), hallway and livingroom are tidy and clean. The kitchen is tidy … and sort of clean. It took longer than ten seconds.
8. Answer the phone. I disagree, to be honest. Answering the phone is a choice, and your home is one of the few places where you should decide what enters it – including other people on the phone. It’s rare, but I do at times choose to not answer the phone. If Cameron’s rangy, supper is almost ready, we’re in the middle of bedtime routine, or I just don’t feel like it I’ve been known to not even check to see who is calling. I think that’s healthy! Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re choosing to not answer the phone because you’re trying to avoid something you have to eventually deal with; in that case, answer it and get it over with or whatever situation it is will intrude on your thoughts anyway.
9. Exhale. Let go. I’m a total control freak, and letting go is a hard lesson for me sometimes. Mostly I’m a control freak about myself. My thoughts, my feelings, my actions, my space. The trouble is there’s this little guy who is working on his own self-identity, which means slowly defining himself as not an extension of Mommy. This means I often do still think of him as an extension of me. And the control freak kicks in.
10. Be. The advice is to forget about this list, answer to your own authority, there are no rules. Which is true. I don’t consider these to be rules or externally-enforced. Merely ideas. Concepts to consider.