Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Eleven Things to Remember

I remember telling you once about how much I love dreaming. I am a bit of an obsessive problem-solver and it is seriously one of my favorite things to imagine how to make things happen. I guess problem-solver is not really the right word because there is not always something broken that needs fixing. Maybe dream-maker might be a better way to think of it.

I spent lots of my day-dreaming energy picturing far-flung scenarios and then taking them seriously, figuring out how I would make them real. Like the time I spent months dreaming of walking across the country, which I accompanied with research into maps, distances, and costs. Or when I dreamed myself to and through and all the way back out of a graduate degree in literature. Sometimes the dreaming becomes real. Other times, the imagining is all of the fun.

So, you can probably guess that I am a sucker for New Year's resolutions. In truth, I think and plan this way all year round, but at New Year's, I guess it can be a bit more public. I have been dreaming about travels, elaborate sewing projects, waking up before the sun, and ways to give to others who have less. I have been pondering cloud-watching and time for books, camping trips and dream homes...and potty training.

Yes, potty training has been on my mind quite a lot. But that is really beside the point...except for the fact that it has drawn my attention to something else that has been on my mind a bit. In all of the chaos of the last month filled with traveling, illness, special moments and project after project after project, I think I let go of some of the practices that keep my family happy and connected. Short tempers have been much too common these days at our house. And my dreaming time in the last week or so has been filled with efforts to remind myself that the best way to meet a temper is not to fight back, but rather to side-step them, to rely on the things that work best for each member of my family.

I wrote these eleven things down the other day. I thought I would share the list with you.

1. Read every day...or all day if things are really bad.

2. Practice taking moments to myself, both when my boys are asleep and when they are right next to me.

3. Let Evan get breakfast for himself (and for Clayton).

4. Remember that there is a need behind the whining and the tantrums. Rather than reacting to the negativity, respond to that need.

5. Do not forget to join sometimes in the boys' games.

6. Turn off the computer.

7. Keep smiling and laughing through the stressful moments.

8. Do projects together as a family and side-by-side.

9. Sing and dance a lot!

10. Always end the day with a kiss, even if that means going back in after an hour of putting a screaming Clayton back in bed over and over again.

11. When all else fails, head outside....

Or act like a monkey. That is a guaranteed win right there.


  1. Wonderful list. All things that I think about as well!!

  2. I love the love behind this list. The love for yourself as a busy mama and for your boys and for the hills and valleys that exist in families. I especially love the second part of number one!!

  3. Wonderful things that we should practice in our day to day life. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is a wonderful list. Thank you for leaving me the link. I especially love #10 to end the day with a kiss.