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Entries in family (15)


Aha! That's My Fourth Ring

We received an interesting insight from a reader:

I just read Juggling Elephants and love it! I understand about the three rings, but the other elephant that I juggle is the house. I have a full-time job that is overwhelming, and the other rings of relationship and self. Three rings might be enough for a man, but what about women - who have another ring - a whole job of taking care of a house and family when they get home?

Our response to her was to look again at the circus and determine what it would do with an extra ring. It would move resources from one or more of the other three rings to help manage the 4th ring. Remember, we can't do it all. We suggested she work with the other performers (spouse, children) to see if they would be willing to help better manage this 4th ring and possibly make it a higher priority in their lineup. Additional performers could be hired (to clean the house, etc.). Lastly, review all the acts in the lineup. Are there some that are more important right now and others that could be postponed or deleted from the lineup.


Time with a Child

The holidays are a great reminder of the importance of family and our relationship rings. For some, it is a chance to reconnect with their children or spend time with young people. It is easy to get back into focusing on one's personal and professional rings and forget the importance of spending quality and quantity time with children. Some find it easier to throw them a video game or put them in front of a movie instead.

What can you do this year to have an impact in the life of a child? It was Forest E. Witcraft who so "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." Making a difference in a child's life takes work. It takes time and energy. Energy that is sometimes difficult to muster after a long hard day. But your efforts or lack thereof can truly be life changing.


Stop!  Enjoy!!

The holiday season is in full swing and there are plenty of additional "Acts" in your already busy circus. It is so easy to get caught up in the madness and not take pleasure in all that can be good about this time of year.

Force yourself to stop and take a break. Here are some ideas of activities that my family enjoys doing during the busy holidays:

  • Bundle up (if it is cold outside), go for a walk and look at the Christmas lights at night
  • Attend a choir or bell ringer concert
  • Turn off the TV, make some hot chocolate and sit by a fire in the fireplace and just talk
  • Pop some popcorn, gather your family and watch your favorite holiday movie. (Our favorites are "A Pocket Full of Miracles" and "White Christmas" - oldies but goodies)
  • Sit around the piano and sing
  • Read Christmas and holiday stories together
You might have to actually schedule times in your calendar to force yourself to "STOP" and "ENJOY". It is well worth it and you will find your stress level will decrease at the same time.


Some Syrup for Your Pancakes

The story is told that Henry Mancini's daughter Felice wanted to give her dad a special gift for his birthday. So, she wrote him a poem entitled, "Sometimes." Mr. Mancini loved the poem so much that he set the poem to music and it was first performed by The Carpenters in1971.

Sometimes not often enough
We reflect upon the good things
And those thoughts always center around those we love
And I think about those people who mean so much to me
And for so many years have made me so very happy
And I count the times I have forgotten to say “thank you”
And just how much I love them

More than "sometimes" we would should thank those around us for all that they have done for us and express how much we care about them. That is the stuff that makes the whole journey worthwhile.


Enjoy the Journey

It is easy to focus on the destination and not pay attention to the journey. In fact, the journey can be perceived as a drudgery. Have you ever thought something like, "I can't wait until the kids get older." or "When I get promoted to management, things will be easier." When I get a new car, when I get a bigger house, when I have more money, when I finish school, when I accomplish this goal...pretty soon, we have wished our life away. Why not be satisfied with the here and now and enjoy the ride?

"Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?"... the four words that every adult is very familiar with if they have ever taken children on a long drive. As a kid, my family would take vacations that usually required a fair amount of time packed into our Buick. My Father did a lot of driving for his work and as a result he was aware of some of the best places to eat, visit, take a rest, etc. He seemed to know just the right time to make a stop, get a snack or engage us in an activity. He would even pack us individualized "treasure sacks" that had things to entertain us on the trip. He made the journey, not just the destination, fun and enjoyable.

What can you do to enjoy the journey? Maybe it is not all about the dinner but enjoying the time with others as you prepare the meal together. If you are working on a big project at work, take time to celebrate the milestones throughout the process. If you have a small child, enjoy the time rocking them to sleep or telling them stories because before you know it, they won't want you to read them a story and/or they will be off to college. Every day, multiple times each day, say to yourself, "Enjoy the journey.", "Enjoy the journey.", "Enjoy the journey."