22 in 22? Don’t mind if I do!
#1 Connect According to Their Love Languages
The gentlemen of the house went off to my in-laws for a few days, allowing precious time to get caught up on some work stuff and to recharge my batteries alone at home.
It has happened in the past that when they do this, after a few days of precious, soul nourishing silence in my apartment by myself, that their return is a terrible, awful shock. From calm and peace to the barricade scene from Les Misérables in no time flat. I have, once or twice, not had the coping skills to deal with their return and the noise and the mess and have snapped at them.
I really wanted to avoid this. And for the most part, I did.
But I discovered that, out of nowhere, in the space of just a few days, my eldest has entered a new phase: he, who for all that he has always looked and sounded exactly like his father, has begun exhibiting a character trait that is 100% me.
He has started inventing stories, like deeply involved plots and people groups and individual characters. As if this were not enough, he has begun telling those stories to the first person whose ear he manages to wrangle, whether that person wants to listen or not.
And the telling of those stories is obsessional. I know this, because I am that way. I have memories, I mean many memories not just one or two of walking alongside my husband and telling him a story. And being irritated if he so much as breathed while I told him my story.
Now, I have a child like this. And it really stinks to be on the receiving end of one of these compulsive storytelling rants. I cannot wait until he can write and start recording these stories on paper instead of spending from 9:00AM to 12:00PM nonstop telling me a story about Dr. Weird, Dr. Strange and Dr. Silly who league up against Dr. Bad to save the universe.
But you know what? I know for a fact that for him, telling that story is uncontrollable. I know that my listening to him tell the story proves to him that I love him. So as annoying as it may be, I will grin and bear it. Because I do love him.
#18 Eat Mindfully and With Pleasure
It is terribly difficult to do this with all the hectic noise and pressure and tiny fingers reaching onto plates at mealtimes.
That is why I made it a goal, during the time that I was home alone, to make sure that I took moments to eat with pleasure.
From taking time to prepare my coffee with love, to eating a clementine in such a way that you can taste every wave of flavor and texture, or even something as simple as eating an apple, I wanted to remind myself that there is a way of eating that isn’t just to put petrol in the tank.
#19 Get Off the Hedonic Treadmill
“Knowing when to stop is the most underrated super power ever.
Talking, asking, wanting, loving, needing, eating, crying, caring. Everything.
Think about it.”@bandra_bukowski on Instagram
On this front, the front of the Hedonic Treadmill, I feel like I need to go back to the beginning and question everything.
For one thing, it is terribly de-motivating to have a goal that is to “stop doing something”, in this case, “stop wanting something new, or a new experience immediately after you’ve had something new or had a new experience.” Knowing when to stop may be a super power, but I don’t see how it can be goal.
I was so intrigued by the concept of the Hedonic Treadmill, and so very aware that that this cyclical nature of wanting was the very essence of one of the things that I hated about myself, that I never questioned if this was going to be the right way to deal with it.
What has always been effective for me in the past has been learning to appreciate what I have. Even the “This has been a good moment,” talk is getting easier for me. But by getting myself stuck in the idea that I need to learn how to “get off the Hedonic Treadmill”, I’m not actually creating a plan.
Surely there will be more to come as I learn to rephrase what it is I want to accomplish in this. I mean, sure, it would be great to know when to stop. It would be even better to not get started on things that I will tend to binge on, out of consideration for my future self.