Each room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility.
I love going home! I love being home. I consider my home a sanctuary and a wonderful place to restore and renew and rest. While I cannot once every recall being called a domestic goddess by anyone…I do consider the opportunity to do housework an investment in my joy.
That said – I must also confess cleaning is not my favorite thing. But I love the result and the outcomes and have strategized, over the years, certain attitudes to make the tasks something I want to do. One’s attitude toward any thing – house work, school work or tax work – can be based on a commitment toward an outcome, not the actual task itself. And
a clean and tidy house is an outcome I treasure.
I suppose my husband is used to me telling stories about him by now. He’s a good sport. He is a broadly accomplished man. In other times he would have been called a renaissance man. A fine artist who makes an art of repairing an engine. Understanding the weather. Recognizing birds from great distances. Oh. But I digress. It’s sufficient to say he’s skilled at hosts of things and levels. Yet his life experience has not served up validation for this knowledge. His experience has been one of contradiction and doubt. Teasingly we suggest that he may have been raised by wolves. The tone is his home was one of criticism rather than celebration. So he’s been schooled to “stick up for himself.”
This very day I said to him, “You are so accomplished. Thank you for all the ways you make our home better.” His response sounded like he was arguing with me. “I DO make our home better.” We’ve talked about the fact that he has had to provide affirmation of his own skills throughout most of his life. At a cellular level he may be more prepared for criticism than praise.
Today, understanding that, I just took advantage of an editing trick. I asked, “Could we go back and just re-write that exchange? I’d like to see how you feel simply looking at me, seeing my love and saying out loud, ‘Thank you very much.’ ” We did.
The smile lingered on both our faces for quite a few minutes.
When you receive a compliment today…pause and make sure you aren’t getting ready to argue with the person giving it. Practice. Just say, “thank you.” It sweetens the moment for everyone.
I’ll be the first to admit that there were a lot of actions that Goldilocks chose that I can’t stand to defend. But I DID learn a lot from Goldilocks about discernment and balance. She was not a girl that consistently said, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” The girl had a vision for what was “just right.”
And she stuck with it.
A valuable lesson I take away from the famous story of Goldilocks is that it really is up to me to let people know when something is “too” much. “Too hot,” or “too cold.” The trick is discerning when such vision actually matters. There are times in life when it really is the right thing to do – to simply let something go. And yet, there are other times when standing up for our vision and sense of balance is absolutely imperative. Discernment and balance. THANKS, Goldilocks.