Finding balance in a chaotic world

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Lots of Christmas Presents

So one year, while I was single and in my mid-twenties, my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas. For some reason, I decided that what I wanted was a lot of presents. I didn’t care so much what they were but I wanted a lot and that was what I told them. As the boxes came in from across the country I realized that I had indeed received a lot of presents. Best Christmas ever, right? I would have thought so. Read more »

Everybody’s an Artist

My daughter wants to be an artist when she grows up. She is always drawing pictures and constantly brings a stream of new pictures to us. Casting my mind back I remember that I too drew constantly. If you looked at my schoolwork you would notice lots of weapons, tanks, and spaceships in the margins of the paper. What is interesting about this is that I am a terrible artist. I want to be able to draw well but I just can’t seem to do it. Part of it is lack of formal training and practice, but part of it is also a lack of natural talent. Still, I do enjoy drawing and will occasionally doodle for the fun of it. Read more »

Standup

In college, I heard that a friend of mine from high school had started participating in the local comedy club’s amateur night. This surprised me since I didn’t think that would be something he was interested in, but there he was. I talked to him about it and it was interesting. This wasn’t a burning desire in his life but seemed like a fun thing to do, so he did it. I’m not sure I could get in front of people and tell jokes like that so the mere fact that he did it impressed me. The fact that he continued to do it impressed me even more. He started carrying around a notebook and jotted down any funny thought that he encountered during the day. It actually go to the point where his mother grew concerned that anything she said or did would become fodder for his routine. Read more »

It’s a Job That Needs to be Done

Yesterday morning I noticed I had no long-sleeve shirts ironed. It is no big deal, but typically my wife keeps up with the ironing. The holiday and the fact that she is working again this holiday season interrupted the oh-so-fine ironing time. So I figured I’d grab the iron when I got home and flatten some shirts. Well, when I came home, I saw that she had already ironed most of my shirts and they were hanging waiting for me to put in my closet. I still had a few shirts left to iron, so I went ahead and grabbed them. My daughter asked if I could do something with her, so I said “let me just iron these shirts first.”

 

She looked at me slightly confused and said “But ironing is woman’s work.”

 

In a moment of parenting genius, I replied “It’s just work, sweetheart, and it needs to be done.” I felt pretty proud of that one. Read more »

What is That in the Attic?

Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving is when my family pulls down the Christmas decorations from the attic and puts up the tree. My kids have fun placing their favorite ornaments on and the holiday spirit flows through the house. While I’m up in the attic, I look around and wonder what all this stuff is. The attic isn’t really very crowded but there are boxes of things that I have no idea what is stored in them. So this year I created a new tradition. Each time I go into the attic, I pull down a box and see if it really needs to be stored for another year. Read more »