If you aren’t familiar with Elf on a Shelf you might think this picture is a little odd. The idea is that you use the elf doll and tell your children that the elf is watching good boys and girls for Santa. Now the elf moves at night to a different location to further convince your kids he is real. Sometimes this little elf will even play tricks at night while children are asleep. An example would be you find him on the kitchen table with your cereal ready, or maybe he picked out your clothes while you slept. You get the idea.
Now this sounds like great fun BUT most parents start this little game around Thanksgiving and it’s played up and until Christmas. This can be troublesome in many ways. Trying to come up with different ideas as to where to put the elf while the kids are asleep and what trick or new discovery the elf might create. That’s a lot of work! Or heaven forbid the parent is to tired to do the elf relocation one night, then you have to come up with why the elf did not move. The worst or maybe best idea is the elf is partially eaten by the dog, hence the picture.
I am trying to get back out and enjoy life like I did before COVID. After a year off from most social interaction I was excited to go and do things again, even simple errands were more attractive now. There’s a change that has happened and you can feel it in the air.
I’m talking about hostility. I have encountered so many people who are so upset about the smallest of things, whether it be road rage, or some slight they think another has given them, to hateful attitudes towards service workers. Now I realize these people have been with us all along, but this is different. This isn’t just a once a year encounter, this is a daily event. Did we stay inside so long that we have completely forgotten how to treat our fellow man? Have we suffered such enormous set backs from COVID that we are just angry all of the time?
I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s definitely different and you can feel it in the air around you.
Now I’ve blogged about this once before ( see blog “I’m an old lady too” February 2021). Teaching an old dog new tricks is code for they won’t change their way of doing anything. Now it’s not new tricks that I would like others to learn as stated in my previous blog post, but rather old tricks that I would like to lose. I have so many that it almost seems like a challenge with little possibility of a good outcome. My list includes:
*Stop worrying about how I spend my time. It’s my time and I need to forgive myself for not doing something every minute of everyday.
*It doesn’t have to be perfect. This one is a little hard for me to do as I have always been the fixer and doer of my family.
*Stop thinking about the next five things you need to do. I use to make list of everything that needed to be done and every errand that needed running. I rarely finished the list in one day but I worked myself to death trying to reach the end of the list.
*Stop comparing your life and yourself to others- this one came as I aged – I just cared less about it.
This is the list I care about now……..
Listen more, talk less
Live everyday like it’s my last ( very hard to do grocery shopping, cleaning house, and doing laundry )
Try something new every week ( easy enough, as long as you don’t set the bar too high in what you learn). The learning is the most important part.
I don’t really think any of this has to do with old dogs (age) or new tricks (anything that is different from what you do now). I think I am more self aware of is what is needed to make my life mine.
I’ve always been a talker. I love people and I love being around people. Now don’t get me wrong I like my alone time too, but my teachers didn’t call me jabber jaws when I was in elementary school for nothing. The teachers would write on my report cards ; “she is a great student but needs to stop talking”. I was reading an article the other day which explained that children who are left alone a lot tend to well, run at the mouth , so to say.
I definitely fit in that category. I always did all the talking for my introverted little brother. He liked listening to me and it always made him feel more secure when I did all the talking, or so he told me once. My little brother passed away 24 years ago but I’m still talking.
Now the problem with this is it’s nervous talking . Not necessarily good conversation. I have been practicing meditation to help me silence that inner child who needed to fill the awkward silence. When I was young silence was always scary, nothing good ever came from silent moments. The meditation helps, not a cure, but it helps, and that’s all I have to say – for a change.
I couldn’t help but to write a blog post about April being the National Month of Hope. Hope is a positive, very personal emotion. We humans are all the same species. Other species react to us as humans, not as specific groups. We as a species like to separate ourselves into groups by religion, politics, race, countries, and the list goes on and on. Emotions are described by humans and mostly considered human behaviors. Anger, joy, frustration, sadness, all emotions that are experienced by our species. But the above list of separations makes those emotions specific. One emotion stands out as independent of group emotions, and that is hope. Every human has had, at one time or another, a desire of hope. To hope that something might occur, or not, is an independent thought. I’m not sure we need an entire month dedicated to this emotion, but maybe it’s a reminder that we are all of one species and not as different as we might assume.
I have always enjoyed the New Year, not the parties and crazy things just a new slate.
365 new days, 365 new chances it is amazing.
Now I realize that time is something that humans have created for their own existence but I’m a list maker, a goal creator, and I need a new year. In the last five years I have taught myself , not without frustration, many new things. I have learned WordPress, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, along with e-commerce. Let’s just say they didn’t have computers when I was in school, college or the workforce. Change and growth are good and I never want to be one of those poor souls so set in my ways that I just throw up my arms and refuse to try.
I should mention that there are a few exceptions to my rule of learning, *time and *calendars. My kids laugh at me when I scold them about their wall clocks not on the right time. In their world wall clocks are just decor not a needed household item. They are use to checking the time on their phones and that’s a habit I have not acquired. I have all of my wall clocks , all three of them, place where I can see them as I walk into a room and glance easily as I leave a room. This habit took me well over 50+ years to acquire so it’s stuck.
The second is the calendar. At school the teachers always had a large classroom calendars, in college – an assignment or date book, when I was raising my kids the school calendar on the fridge was gospel. (Now as I type this I’m thinking that’s probably why I’m such a visual learner) I still use a paper calendar even though I do now how to use my iPad calendar. I have been using the paper version for over 50+ years too. I’m crazy about those large desk calendar that cover most of my work table in my studio. I can jot down lots of things in lots of big print, and just when it really begins to look bad- BAM – I tear it off and a brand new one is there for me. Clean and white with no scribbles.