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Do-Gooder

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I think in most circumstances of life there is a "do-gooder" around, you know...doing good. I remember my middle school French class where a kid raised his hand to tell our spacey teacher that the answers to a test we were about to take were on a poster on the wall -- to the chagrin and collective moans of the class. Right now I work with a do-gooder, and I've noticed a couple results from working in proximity to him. Being a skateboarder, there comes a tendency to break rules. I mean, I was born with a guilty conscious, so this doesn't go too far for me, but if there is a rule I think is dumb or unnecessary, I will likely break it. But when I'm working with this guy at work, he calls me out on it. When it is late and we are about to finish work and most of my coworkers are flying through their tasks to get home sooner, he takes his time and does the same good job no matter what. And what I am noticing is that, when he is around, I try to act more like him. And

The Spoon You Have

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My daughter has an annoying habit of switching spoons with her sister whenever you give her a meal. It's harmless really, so I let it go on. But it has turned into an almost mealy routine (is "mealy" a word? Every meal). Today, her sister was still sleeping so we ate breakfast together and she asked to switch spoons with me. I wouldn't let her, mostly because my spoon was too big for her mouth and I didn't want her little plastic one, but also because I think it could be the beginnings of a contentment problem. Call me an extremist, but I guess I'm always thinking things are a bigger deal than they really are (just ask my wife). But the idea that whatever I give her is not enough  tells me that this could be an issue later on. I know this because I have the same problem, struggling with contentment even in the best of circumstances. "Use the spoon you have," I told her, to her dismay. She tried to talk me out of it, but I was resolute. Then she

Relapse

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If you are an avid reader of this blog (hi, Mom), then you may be tired of reading about poison ivy . Well, I'm tried of writing about it; but this rash has really defined my last couple of months in a terrible way, and I typically write about whatever I'm going through as a way of processing, so here's one more for you (hopefully the last). The ivy was all but gone. I had begun to wash the clothes I wore and the blanket I used during the peak of it all ( a friend suggested washing these separately and in warm water). I felt like the worst was over and I thought I was in the clear. I even returned for a yard work session and made my way out unscathed. Of course I was extra cautious, and wore dish gloves underneath my work gloves, with long sleeves. But the following week during another yard work day, I was a little more brazen and skipped the dish glove step, exposing my vulnerable wrists in a blatant disregard for the recent past. And of course, the night after all the

Patience

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Patience is one of those virtues that is really stretched by parenting. Or maybe "built" is a better word than stretched. Today I was simply putting some temporary tattoos on the girls' arms. They earned them through chores and potty -- we use either tattoos or candy as incentive usually. I have yet to research if these things are actually putting harmful chemicals and colors into our kids' epidermises, so if you know something I don't, please let me know! Either way, it's a fun thing and the girls love it. If you have ever dabbled in the art of temporary tattooing, however, you know you have to wait about thirty seconds for the tattoo to stick. And today, I found it fairly difficult to wait...for thirty seconds! I mean, come on! That's a ridiculously short amount of time to get bored while waiting! But it happened, and it struck me at how common this lack of patience really is. It is no secret that our culture is very much an on-demand society.

Gradual

A follow up on  last week's post ...I think the idea of change happening slow, sometimes for the worse and without us even knowing it, is so prevalent. But why does it happen this way? How come we are just living our lives, caught up in the day to day, and then we wake up to find ourselves forty pounds heavier? Or maybe it isn't even a health thing, but rather a relational or emotional rut has formed without us knowing it. I used to work in the multi-family housing industry, and so I often showed apartments to folks getting a divorce. You wouldn't believe the things these men and women said about their soon-to-be ex-spouses (sometimes in front of their children), and I often wanted to ask them what happened in the course of the last ten-to-twenty years that would cause so much disdain. Think about it: they go from devoting their lives to each other in love to spitefully spouting words I won't use out loud to a total stranger. I have to conclude that this is a gradual