A dear friend once gave me a box filled with various words — imagine, blessings, abundance, and such — on individual slips of paper; I pull one out each day, and see what it inspires within me. The daily entries in Meditations for Parents Who Do Too Much are more than a single word, but each day's entry takes only a single page.
And given the book's title, it's not surprising that it touches on some organizing themes. Here are just a few small portions of what caught my eye; note that the quotes shown are not the whole entry for any given day. Some of them may even speak to those of us who are not parents!
We hear lots of parents complain that they are so busy doing other things that they have little "quality" time with their kids.August 16:
But if we're going to find that time, we may have to relax our standards. We may have to let the laundry pile up, let a day's phone messages lapse, let the dog go without his bath. A little "disorder" may be necessary, if we're going to find the time to read that bedtime story.
As parents who do too much, we are often prioritizing. We will put aside the medical checkup, the long-distance call to a friend — because there are "important" things to get done — things that need our immediate attention.August 18:
But let us not confuse urgency with importance. Just because something sits up and begs at our feet, does not mean we have to throw it a bone.
The greatest gift I give my children is the time I spend with them.September 2:
In this society, we are so bent on accomplishing all our tasks as quickly as possible, that we rarely, if ever, think about the enjoyment of our work, how it may enrich us, or what we may learn from it. Rather, we're immersed in getting it "done."September 14:
Some of us now have a mountain of accumulated things that seemed totally necessary a few years ago. Our basements appear to be a distribution center for Toys-R-Us. It's not just that our children outgrew much of what we bought. That is inevitable. It's that a great deal of these things were never used or never enjoyed.December 7:
Our lives and our closets have a lot in common. Both are cluttered with things we could easily do without.