My dad is one of the wisest men I know. Occasionally I have shared here quotes or advice that he has given me. His two most oft-repeated statements when my siblings and I were growing up were “Life is not fair” and “Attitude is everything.” Let’s just say that those words covered about every situation we encountered.
I am consciously passing those same sayings along to our children. There are never-ending opportunities to put them into practice. Case in point: On Saturday night, at a church carnival and cookout, one of my daughter’s got to go on a hay ride twice while the other daughter only got one turn. Sure enough, out of the mouth of the one who thought she had been shortchanged came the words “But that’s not fair.” All I had to say was, “And what would Granddaddy say about that?” While she may not have liked it at that moment, she got the point. Someday I hope it sinks in and that both of our girls will understand that, as much as we might wish it was, not everything that happens in life is fair.
In reading my recently reviewed book, Muthering Heights, I recalled another piece of advice that my dad shared with us. I found this suggestion in the book as well and believe that it is so helpful. In life, make sure that you always have something that you can look forward to taking place.
In a big picture way, this could be a future activity for which you’re planning ahead. For example, in December we are taking our girls to see the play “A Christmas Carol.” In preparation for this, we are reading the book aloud at night and talking to them about what we’ll be seeing. The girls also know that we hope to take a trip to Disney World some time next year and we all enjoy discussing that possibility.
However, on a smaller scale, I think it is great to have something to look forward to each week. Whether it’s a family activity or something just for you, it brings a little spark to life if you know something enjoyable is just ahead. It could be an hour of shopping time alone while your husband or a friend watches the children. How about taking half of nap time and sitting down to read two chapters of a book and refusing to feel guilty about all of the housework that’s not being accomplished? Maybe it’s a scheduled date night with your husband, a mom’s morning out program or a surprise picnic outing with your children. However small it is, make time to put something on your calendar each week that you can look forward to.
So what am I looking forward to this week? Helping out at the girls’ school on Friday morning, then doing a bit of shopping by myself before picking them up that afternoon. That’s why I’ve been ironing like a mad woman this morning and will try to get ahead on my other chores during the first part of the week!
Do you enjoy the anticipation of upcoming vacations and holidays? Are you able to fit in a small activity during the week that you enjoy? I’d love to hear about it!
We have always taught our kids that life isn't fair either, so why try and make it all fair when they are little? When you said you asked your daughter what your dad would say, I thought about the Waltons. Grandpa always had some bit of advice for every situation. We do look forward to things coming up and some times we will even make some sort of countdown and let the thing we are doing be at the top and have some clip art picture moving up the numbers. We did this a lot when our kids were smaller.
It's funny you posted about fairness b/c I've been trying to teach Madison this lesson.
I look forward to having lunch w/her every Friday (and I think she does too!).
We have been anticipating going ice skating with our home school co op, although I am not as anxious to embrace winter yet 🙂 I love having things to look forward to, but I also like just staying home and anticipating a day of rest and relaxation!