I have often felt procrastination is good for me, after all, I practice it every day. Our daughter, acknowledging my procrastinating ways, sent me an image similar to the one above. I loved it!
Read how procrastination is part of the natural order of the universe. Finally, some affirmation for what everyone told me was a character flaw.
I love the simple beauty of this photo from 1934. Just another typical afternoon of girls playing with dolls and living in the moment. It looks warm and friendly and adorable. I have to wonder, though, how the little one (Betty) stood for this picture with no doll and no tears. I hope she had her turn after the camera was put away, and knowing mom (the oldest), she did.
Yet I can’t look at this picture without experiencing sadness with the joy. The joy comes from peeking into the past and seeing mom enjoying an afternoon with her young cousins. The sadness comes from the harsh realities of prairie living that would soon touch the lives of the girls pictured. Farm living was hard work and dangerous. Living on the prairie kept children grounded in the reality of life and death.
This prairie backdrop is the foundation of faith and survival for my family. Life is precious. We don’t know the length of our journey on earth so we learn to make the most of each day. No excuses.
Prairie Wisdom taught me to ‘Be Present’ in this very moment. The only thing to bring forward from our past are the lessons we have learned. When we spend too much time staring backwards we become immobile and are unable to move forward and live the life we are destined to live. So if you find yourself focusing on your past, shake yourself and remember it’s okay to look back, but it’s impolite to stare.
While attending my niece’s high school graduation party I spent time with the ladies of the family. As we cooked, baked, cut, and frosted we started talking about daughters and their messy rooms. This topic arose because my niece was having a challenging time cleaning her bedroom to her mom’s expectations.
Being daughters ourselves, we talked about our own adolescent bedrooms and tried to compare our messes with the messy bedrooms we encounter these days. Wanting to be fair, we turned to the older generation for some perspective. My sister-in-law asked her mom if her bedroom had been such a pig sty. With age comes experience, patience and, often, pearls of wisdom. My mother-in-law didn’t answer right away. She paused, she thought and then she opened her mouth and spoke. Her answer was simple, but has subsequently caused serious reflection on the habits in my life. She said, “Back then you girls didn’t have much stuff. Your rooms would get messy but since you didn’t have that much, the messes were manageable.”
We didn’t have that much stuff. I grew up in a one income household. I learned early how to stretch a dollar, the difference between wanting something and needing something, and how to take care of what I had because chances were if it was lost or damaged there would be no replacement. I didn’t feel deprived. We were a typical middle class family.
So how did this need to consume products overtake us and when did we start to get so much stuff? Is it because we think we have more disposable money to spend? Is it because we are more mobile and can purchase products easier? Is it because we have decided we should have what we want and not worry whether we need it or not? Is it because we are spoiled?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. I do know the conversation that day in my sister-in-law’s kitchen helped me return to some basic beliefs from my childhood. Evaluate your purchases from a need not a want perspective, make the effort to take care of what you already have and, most importantly, strive to have less and be thankful more.
What do you do when you are hounded with questions about something you know little about? Do you calmly repeat (over and over) that you don’t know the answer? Do you get frustrated? Do you get angry? What do you do?
My dad taught me how to deal with this exact situation. It is really quite simple. You look the person in the eye and say, “That is all I know on the subject and if you continue to press me I will begin to fabricate.” Thank you dad!
As one who is often on the receiving end of a lot of questions, I have gained much mileage from this simple phrase. Dad found that if you tell people that you will begin to fabricate (in other words lie and make things up) the questions amazingly stop. Blessed silence and peace.
Dad always smiled when he delivered this line and it never ceased to make me laugh, even when it was directed to me following my own string of nonstop questions. I have found this simple phrase a valuable survival tool and that’s no lie.