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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
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Winter Fun

New Year’s Resolution: No More Kicking

{ image from Dinner: A Love Story }

Last night I was feeling pretty good. I’d had a great lesson with a piano student. Inspired by that, I buckled down and taught three of my own kids. Who didn’t complain once. Lexie even asked when she could have her next lesson. Meanwhile, Tim set up a little ski shop on the kitchen island and figured out how to wax and tune skis. Which made me happy because it’ll save money. What made me even happier was how handsome he looked waxing the skis in his Nordic blue sweater and slightly long hair. I made dinner, we read The Hobbit, and I started knitting a new hat. All heads were above water and it was a nice evening.

Fast forward to this morning. One kid wipes out on the icy driveway and I kick myself for not remembering to send everyone out to scrape the ice away yesterday when the temperature warmed up. I snap at Tim for not reminding me to remember and then kick myself for snapping at him. I get on the scale and kick myself for letting everything go since getting Gunther’s diagnosis last week. I try to give him his pills but he clamps his jaws shut and I can’t pry them open. I try every healthy food I can think of to hide the pills in, but the only thing he’ll touch is a meat stick. Which I’m sure is great for his liver. So I kick myself for that, too.

I’m a little sore from all the kicking.

But don’t I deserve it? I mean, at this point I really should have my act together. For more than an hour or two at a time.

Then I remember something my friend Christina said the other day. We were talking on the phone and I was complaining about how I wasn’t eating great or working out as much as I should and I’m supposed to be a boot camp instructor, blah, blah, blah. After listening for a while, Christina said in her gentle, singer’s voice, “Shannon, you need to be kind to yourself.”

Those words, spoken with so much warmth and love, come back to me now. They remind me of the saying (you’ve probably heard it), “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Why oh why is it so much easier to be kind to others than ourselves? Imagine if we treated ourselves with the understanding and patience we show others, especially when they’re having a hard time.

Because the truth is that it takes a lot to sit on the floor and plead with the dog you adore to take his pills because they’re the only thing keeping him alive. Non-life-and-death-matters take a lot, too—eating healthy, keeping your house clean, paying your bills, navigating relationships. There are times when showering is a major challenge (hello, mothers of new babies). Life is a lot of work. But Tim is kind enough to remind me—often—that nobody has it all figured out.

So. I was going to write about my New Year’s resolutions today. But instead I’m throwing them all out the window and switching to just one. Be kind to myself.

How about you? Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?


  1. Stephanie says:

    Yes, you must be kind to yourself. We Mums tend to blame ourselves for every little thing that goes wrong in family life, and we’re always kicking ourselves. You’re right – time to stop!

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