Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Quick Glimpse

In preparing for Thursdays colonoscopy which is required because of the health ordeal with blood clots back in February I'm having to give myself stomach injections at 4:30 a.m. And so I got up and Kari and I did the YMCA at 5. In preparation for the injection, my body woke itself up at 3:50 and wouldn't go back to sleep, so I am anticipating needing a nap around 2, which, I can do, because, I. only. have. one. job.

Last night Bart and I volunteered to watch Isaac while Courtney and John helped her Dad move. What an amazing little guy! We had him for almost 6 hours and he didn't cry once! I fed him once, Bart fed him once, I changed him... he slept snugged up against my neck for hours. But not one peep other than contented little snores the whole evening. What a joy!

I thought I'd give you a quick glimpse of the book I'm working on by sharing a few paragraphs here . General feedback is welcome as long as it is good. (just kidding)

The name of the book is "Telling Myself the Truth: How I've remained sane while parenting 12 kids" or something like that. This chapter is about telling myself that I should not be the focus. Here's the conclusion:

Telling ourselves the truth and reminding ourselves to change our focus involves a great deal of discipline and doesn’t happen overnight. Here are some practical suggestions about how to find life more fulfilling by moving the focus from ourselves.

As mentioned above, put yourself in the shoes of the people closest to you. Pay attention to how your words and actions are affecting your best friends, family members and work associates, those people you deal with every day. When you do so you will find yourself making changes that will improve not only their lives but yours as well.

Listen to someone else’s story. Take time in your life to connect with someone you don’t know very well and listen to them share their story with you. It may very well be that you leave the conversation realizing that the life you have may be easier than you thought in the first place. Becoming engaged in someone else’s life not only gives them a chance to share with someone who can listen and bring comfort, but it also can give you a change in focus.

Get involved in the story of a stranger. When we look to the needs of others and attempt to fill them, suddenly our own needs and don’t seem to matter quite as much. You should try it. I guarantee you that if you’re serving a meal in a soup kitchen you won’t be muttering to yourself about how you can’t afford to go out to eat as much as you used to. If you’re at a homeless shelter handing out blankets, you won’t be complaining about how your five year old mattress needs replacing. Spend a day selling clothes to the poor at thrift store, and suddenly your wardrobe will begin to look huge.

In order to tell ourselves the truth sometimes we need to recognize and remember the truth and if our focus is continually on ourselves, it becomes more and more difficult to do so. Phrases like “it’s not about me” and “it’s time to shift my focus” and “I wonder what it’s like to be in their shoes” can turn around negative attitudes, soften bitterness, and erase resentment. Because when we begin to see the world as a place where we live to serve others, our lives are suddenly richer, fuller and more meaningful. After all, our own lives, minds, and problems are quite small in the scheme of things.

If you find yourself stuck in a negative pattern, turn things around by focusing on others. It’s a sure way to change things up and get you pointed in the right direction.


Kathleen said...

Whew! I saw the phrase "a quick glimpse" and the word "colonoscopy" and I was scared!

Kari said...

Kathleen knows you well enough to be afraid, Claudia. Please do not go there.