The college domino affect started a few years ago in our house. With five kids, we knew it loomed on the horizon since the days when they were little tykes, convinced that swimming in a plastic pool in the front yard was as close to paradise as one could get. Now those early years of making a dollar stretch a mile, making life-altering decisions (like which Mother’s Day Out is “best” – as if), birthday parties, carpools, sports teams, … fill in the blank – all seem like child’s play as we face daunting. Not only the cost (seriously – what happened?!) but also the huh?!-factor. Huh?, as in – since when did co-ed dorms sound like a good idea, for young adults – who may or may not be at the height of their wise-decision-making ability. But along with daunting comes exciting. Seriously exciting. These kids are amazing.
Sure death and taxes are inevitable, but so is change. I don’t about you, but we’ve got a lot going on in this house. New schools (new college, new high school, middle school), new teachers for everyone, Driver’s Ed, teams, hair styles, puberty (‘nuff said!) … seriously the list could go on and on. Some change is fun. Other change – not so much. And, how we meet change, how we handle change can have a major impact on our attitudes, our stress level and our contentment. The thing about change – it’s not just the landscape shift that determines the ripple affects, dormant emotions (of which we may not even be aware) can drive anxieties or reactions that come with change. Over the summer we had lots of change. One of my favorite friends passed away. It really surprised me at how I couldn’t shake it. For over a month I had trouble
“Why do eggs make you so full so fast?” asked the kid sitting next to me. He needed to be sharp for the day ahead so I added some eggs to his waffle breakfast. Reaching for all my scientific expertise I answer with the usual, “I don’t know” followed by a guess – “probably because it has protein.” Then teasingly/truthfully add, “Those eggs will for sure keep you going longer than your food of choice – Goldfish.” The kid is fourteen and will still reach for a snack-bag of Goldfish over just about anything. And there’s nothing wrong with Goldfish – unless you’ve made them a food-group. I could have gone into little life-lecture on how there are food groups that offer more nutrients than others – that food is our body’s fuel –
The opportunity to practice thankfulness seems to have no boundaries – even though it is often overlooked. Not only do opportunities amply avail themselves, scientifically documented benefits come along for the ride. According to Forbes, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous. As we hydrate for the holidays – I mean really be aware of and tap into filling our tanks before they get below the white line – here are a few inspiring benefits that accompany thankfulness: Gratitude opens the door to new relationship. Thank-you goes a long way. My grandmother always told us, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.”