If we were having coffee…I’d say that it’s been a challenging week, and I’m grateful you’re here. Let’s sit in my still-untidy-but-getting better family room, and have our coffee there. Once we’re settled, I’d tell you that gratitude and kindness are on my mind.
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that we all had a rather nasty head cold this past week, but that we’re feeling better now. Still some residual sneezing and coughing, but we’re on the mend, and we’re past the point of being contagious.
Maybe because we were sick, there was a bit more than our typical amount of crankiness and impatience this week. It’s times like this, when we aren’t at our best, that I’m deeply grateful for the kindness we’ve all been practicing over the last seven years or so. Things like both kids pitching in to clear clutter when we thought we were going to have short-notice guests – and neither complaining when that didn’t happen. We ended up with a neater house, and we worked together, and that was a good thing, and a kind way for them to act.
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that, even with our sickness, even though I forgot to check the Kindness Challenge prompt until the week was over, and even though I did my being grateful for the kindnesses in my life at the beginning of the day rather than the end- I’m still very grateful.
Because our family life IS centered in kindness. Because, even when we’re far from at our best, there’s a thread of sweetness at the core of things. It’s in the little things that happen – bless yous when someone sneezes, even if it’s the fiftieth time today. It’s my daughter bringing me a cough drop because she wants me to feel better, or it’s me taking her to the store to get the things that will help her feel better. It’s her going with me to the vet with her kitten, even though she was sick, and sweetly petting a blind elderly pug named Lucy.
If we were having coffee…I’d say that being sick could’ve been a lot harder than it was. I’d point to the sink, and the way it faces away from the whole house, so that you’ll understand the profound kindness that follows…
Like I said, we were sick. My Accomplice had it first. He was feeling better by the time I really wasn’t on Monday. It was his weekend, and he’d had a busy couple of days. No one had done dishes, and the kitchen…well, it looked just like the kitchen in one of those old commercials where Mom gets sick and the whole world goes to Hades in a handbasket.
I thought my Accomplice was puttering in the garage. I knew both kids were sleeping in their rooms. And so I vented my frustration at untidy kitchens and general ickiness. Some less than reprintable language crept in, and so did the edge of whininess and poor-me-ness I try to avoid these days.
I indulged. It was a way to off-gas before I went and said something to the other responsible adult in the house – you know, the one who brought home the bacon, fried it up in a pan (he’s a chef!), and left the mess.
When I wore down, I turned toward the washing machine right there – and there was my Accomplice, arms folded, smiling at me. I was saying definitely not-nice things about him, and he was smiling. He even hugged me! Then he sent me off t0 bed and took care of the kitchen.
If we were having coffee…I’d explain why that’s a Big Deal. My Accomplice is a wonderful mate. He makes me laugh, and smile, and my heart beat faster even nineteen years after our honeymoon. There are a couple of things you should know about him, though. The first is that he’s considerably less tidy by nature than I am. The second is that he tends to deal poorly with criticism, no matter how it’s presented. He’s aware of both, and so am I. I’m typically very careful to remove emotional volatility from my attempts to make specific changes toward a tidier living environment.
Even thinking I was alone, I wouldn’t usually have ranted the way I did. I don’t like putting that type of energy out, or giving things that frustrate me that kind of power.
Even knowing I thought I was alone, he wouldn’t usually have responded with a sense of humor and an understanding that I was overwhelmed, not feeling well, but unable to leave things as they were.
If we were having coffee…I would tell you that, to me, this is what love is. Knowing when someone’s in over their head, forgiving the moment they lose their grip on their ideals, and stepping in with kindness, affection, and exactly the kind of help they need. Sending them off to bed and doing the thing they were griping about. Not holding a grudge…letting it go.
It was kind, and I’m grateful.
If we were having coffee…we’d be done, now. I’ll lick my fingers and thank you for the treat. Then I’ll remind you to check out the #RevofKindness at The Richness of a Simple Life and #weekendcoffeeshare at The Part-Time Monster Blog by clicking the links provided.
And now it’s my turn to be kind to you…here’s a little something else I’m grateful for this week.