Saturday, February 23, 2013

free time?

Upon waking this morning Mike and I shared some banter about what our Saturday activities might look like on this sunny, snowy, promising day.  Then Mike made a comment that went something like this:  "I thought when we finished the house projects that I would have more free time on my hands... and I just don't see it."

I have been smiling about this all day.  Free Time?  Who is he kidding?  "Free Time" has to be won / fought for / grabbed / taken by force / scheduled and guarded.  Nothing is free.  There certainly aren't going to be pockets of time left over at the end of the day - unless you planned it that way.

I guard my "free time" with a vengeance.  I believe it is a part of mental health.

I think the same principle applies to money.  There will never just be $ left at the end of the month unless you guard it with a vengeance.   Free time and extra money are commodities to be treasured.  The point is: Be on your guard.  There are useless things in your life that are working to put a drain on both.

Friday, February 22, 2013

the 4 hour rule. it's worth repeating.

The Four Hour Rule is simply this: When you (or someone you love) throws up, you must wait four hours to eat or drink again.  Simple.  But genius.  The lining of the stomach takes four hours to heal.  When someone throws up, check the clock and write down the time exactly.  Tell the victim they can have a little drink in exactly four hours - not a minute sooner.  (I have tried cheating at 3 hours and 45 minutes with disastrous results.)

This is tricky because after one throws up, they are very thirsty and crave a drink of something.  DO NOT GIVE IN.  Unless you like doing laundry and cleaning up partially digested food.

When I hear someone say "My daughter threw up all night and I cleaned the sheets five times" I want to say it was your own fault for not following the 4 Hour Rule.  As a rule, people do not keep throwing up after their stomach has emptied.  They throw up again after you put something else in it.

Sharing the 4 Hour Rule might be the nicest thing you could do for your friends in this season of sickness.

when in doubt, reach out.

When we hear that someone we know is in a hard, hard place it is often a struggle to know what to do or say... The thing to remember is to do something.

We err on the side of doing nothing when we know we cannot fix it.  We tend to say nothing when we don't know what to say.  Mother Rabbit thinks it is important to learn to push through this fog of indecision and extend yourself with a touch of kindness in some way.  The simpler, the better. Think "touch" rather than talk.    Think "touch" rather than fix.  People don't really need or want words when they are really hurting... Just a hug or a note... Or smile or flower or meal or act of kindness...

When I was going through my divorce, it was such a painful place that I can remember thinking that if someone set a bag of groceries on my porch that contained a package of hot dogs & chips it would have felt like a gourmet meal --- just to not have to think about what we were going to eat for supper.  Or was it special because it meant that someone knew that things were hard for me right then?

This week I heard about a friend who had to bury her first born son.  The news made me feel paralyzed and helpless and cold.  I knew that I couldn't ease her pain or change what happened.  But I could pray for her... and I could tell her that in a simple card.

Let's err on the side of doing too much when we are not sure what to do...  instead of nothing.