Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday January 25 - A Recipe for a Happy Life

It was a crazy morning today. I forgot to pack the children’s gymnastic stuff before school. So Annie and I had to go back to the school with the gear before walking to work, which we were late for. Later in the morning, Tara calls me at work and reminds me there is no gymnastics for her this week. Arugh! Then later in the day, I find out that Quinn decided that he would rather skate with friends then go to gymnastics today. Double Arugh!

They both had fun with their friends. They don’t get much free time to just hang with friends. So I think it all turned out all right.

As I walk Annie home, I was thinking about the words written on the wall of the 4th floor. Pause - Relax – Breathe. Good words and good advice. I wish I could find time to do this.

I picked Tara up first and we went to get groceries. When Tara was about two years old, We started the tradition of letting her pick one thing to put in the grocery cart for the week. It’s interesting how her choices have changed over the years.

I would give her a challenge each week. Initially it was easy challenges. Like “Get the greenest vegetable”. Then I upped the task to packaging. “It can be a dessert for school but it has to come in a container that can be recycled." Today’s challenge was a treat that had less then 8g of fat and less then 10mg cholesterol. I almost got through the entire grocery list before she brought me her prize but she did it! She is a label reader now.

Last week you said that compulsive gamblers are very good at deception. I still have disbelief about the smoking. I don’t know how I missed it. Last weekend you told me about your technique to get rid of the yellow stains that accumulate on your finger tips. “I just soaked them in javax and the stains would never show!” You said. I shook my head when you said this. Between breath fresheners, and hand cream and car deodorizer you had all the angles covered. I didn’t have a chance at finding you out. You outsmarted me.

We call you at bedtime. You had a bad night last night. There was a lot of shoulder pain. The medications didn’t seem to help. The doctors have increased your gabapentin dose again to see if it will help.

This evening you went to a presentation put on be the recreational therapists. The program was called “A Recipe for a Happy Life.” You and other patients worked together to identify the important things in your lives. I suppose that by identifying the important things, you can focus your efforts on them and that might make them more achievable. One of your important things was “To run in Cape Breton”. You said you had others like family and friends and Himmy the cat. “My cat - I miss him.” You said.

Monday nights are always a battle to get through in a timely way. We usually get home late. We still need to eat. Although tonight Quinn ate at Ann’s house where he was playing. Then it’s showers and in bed by 8pm. Bedtime on Monday’s never happens at 8pm. Quinn is disappointed again. There is no time for bedtime stories. I felt badly. Tara is at an age where she prefers to read to herself. When Tara was Quinn’s age, she got 2 –3 stories every night. Each night one of us would read to the children. They preferred you to read because I would usually fall asleep right in the middle of the story.

As I kiss Quinn good night and tuck him in, I tell him to think about the family life we will all have when you get home. “Daddy will have time to read to you every night.” I said. Quinn smiles and closes his eyes and says “Yeah. That will be great.”

Maybe it’s the little things that are the main ingredients to the happy life.

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