How to Better Appreciate the People in Your Life
From a Short Fuse to Fully Recharged
When I attend Friday night Shabbat services at my Temple, one of the first prayers of the evening is a slow melody that offers these words of prayer.
“The Renewal of Spirit, Renewal of Life and let us say Amen”
When I sat down to write this article, I was thinking about my renewal of spirit that occurred recently, and boom: this melody popped into my head. Maybe there’s some connection here?
A few weeks ago on a Monday night, my 13-year-old daughter and I had an argument. I know, no shocker there: thirteen-year-old girls and their mothers fight all the time. But this one took the cake. Tit for Tat. My short fuse was ignited. I was as guilty as she was for sinking down to that low level, if not more so since I’m the adult! It wasn’t anything earth shattering: it was about participating in taking care of the house – cleaning your room, helping fold the laundry, load the dishwasher. All normal things that we expect our family to participate in. I didn’t want to have to ask and ask and then raise my voice about it over and over again to be greeted with an “ugh” or “not really” or “do I have to?” or “later” (which we all know never occurs). So, it escalated. And, as it escalated, my age quickly dropped from that of a mature grown adult and parent to a thirteen year old. By the end of the night, it was over, it was ugly, and we both apologized and understood the other’s viewpoint. But I still felt miserable.
The next day, I was leaving for a 3-day, 2-night girls trip to a wonderful spa, The Lodge at Woodloch, 2 hours away. Three girlfriends and I had planned the trip 4 months earlier. And when my girlfriend picked me up at 9:00am, I couldn’t have been happier. Three stress-less days to simply sit back, relax and recharge would reset my body, mind and spirit. I could come home a new woman, wife and mother. From the moment we arrived, the pampering began with valet car service and bellmen carrying your bags to your room. You appreciate the kindness, you say thank you, smile and look people in the eye. And you truly are filled with gratitude, not just saying thank you and letting it rush past your lips, but truly meaning it. During my three day stay, I participated in 1 meditation class, 1 yoga class, 2 spinning classes, 3 fitness/aerobic classes, walked the grounds and mostly learned to breathe again. I also enjoyed massages and a facial, always starting in the steam room, which is one of my all time favorite ways to breathe and relax (and sweat!). Our hectic lives that are in constant motion are sometimes filled with such frenetic energy that we forget how to slow down, breathe and appreciate with true gratitude the wonderful people in our lives, as well as ourselves.
So, after returning home to my family, things were better. Driving the kids to their activities was easier. Communicating with my daughter, husband and son was easier. Asking for help around the house was received positively and with a simple “okay” as a response. I learned to breathe and appreciate my daily life. I’ve noticed that I’ve been able to relax and converse with my daughter more clearly and happily; and she in return. Sure, we still argue, yes, although maybe not as frequently. But now, I recognize it faster, I acknowledge what I want and I apologize and correct my speaking style faster.
I learned that a simple break from the everyday is an incredible renewal and recharge for my system. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried to incorporate more little breaks into my life. Adding more regular exercise, taking a walk outside, and simply reminding myself to take deep breaths throughout the day. While 3 days away is an amazing way to recharge, there are little daily ways to recharge such as moving your body, and slowing down to breathe. I have incorporated these couchkiller habits to bring positive and small renewals of spirit into my daily life.
Hey, and just maybe, since that prayer popped into my head while writing this, maybe it’s having some faith too…
Slow down, breathe, enjoy life and be a couchkiller.