Its been an interesting week. I've had a lot of examples thrust in my face regarding the power of words. Because I'm a sharer and I wouldn't want you to miss out on a lecture, I will now thrust all of my examples in your face so that you can learn along with me. You can thank me later :)
Example #1 - I had a friend who was going through some stuff. She emailed me about it and I immediately added her to my prayer list and her stuff was regularly on my mind. However, I somehow decided that it was ok to not tell her that I was praying for her and thinking about her. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and I am not a total ignoramous but... it's amazing how powerful words are. While my thoughts and prayers were appreciated, if I had taken the extra 2.5 seconds to even just send a text that said "thinking of you and praying" it could have made all the difference. Amazing how I can get so busy/preoccupied/lazy that I cant even take the 2 seconds. The more time I've had to mull it over the more I realize how much I appreciate the responses people give and how I need to try harder at that with others.
Example #2 - I had to teach a class yesterday. I AM NOT a teacher. It was a safety class for 3rd graders. I bet you are all having a sad moment that you missed out on that gem now aren't you? I knew it wasn't going to be a great class. I am a great speaker (also super humble right?), I LOVE to speak, but I am not a great teacher. For us to get along you need to be a very good listener. Top off my middling teachery skills with the fact that I had to cram 120 minutes worth of information into 60 minutes and that it was on topics that I don't really know anything about (so why was I the teacher you ask? I ask myself the same thing) and this class was solid gold baby, solid gold. Afterwards my son Larry (who attended) told me just how boring it was. Curly also attended and he didn't seem to disagree. But then, today, one of the students came up to me before school to tell me how much fun she had in my class yesterday (and she was the student I had to scold the most!) and another asked if we could have more safety classes, and a third talked about it so much that her mom called me to tell me the positive feedback. I still don't know what they enjoyed or how that's humanly possible but boy did those words help my poor bruised ego. Thank God!!! Because I have to teach at least 3 more of these classes to the younger grades. Add me to your prayer list now (and be sure to text me and tell me that you did :P)
Example #3 - I have a love/hate relationship with our public pools on Maui. (sidenote: I think I have a love/hate relationship with everything except dr. pepper. That relationship is all love) It's amazing that they are free, open year round and reasonably well maintained. However they have super strict rules and the lifeguards either ignore you completely or are whistle happy control freaks that only know how to yell. I am on edge every time I go. I have well behaved kids that read and follow rules generally and we still get scolded for something or other every single time!! Yesterday I was at the YMCA pool and two kids were misbehaving (please note: not my kids), The lifeguard calmly walked over and very kindly explained the rules to them, waited for them to show him proper behavior and thanked them for listening. I was in awe!! He took a discipline moment and turned it into a learning moment where everyone left feeling empowered and encouraged to do what is right. I waxed poetic to my sister as we power walked in the pool (don't judge me, I'm very fat) about his amazing behavior and how much better that was than at the public pool. She encouraged, then pushed and finally attempted guilting me into thanking him. She even gave me the, "doesn't it feel great when people say nice things to you?" speech. Truth was, I wanted to thank him but I couldn't mentally handle having a conversation with the kind young man after he watched me haul my heavy old dripping wet self in the stretched out one piece out of the pool just to go tell him that. Maybe I can write him a comment card? I think it would cause less nightmares.
Example #4 - This one is the reason for the picture at the top. That is in fact my hand and those are my nails. No photoshop programs were hurt in the making of this blog. Since our great family plan went underway on Aug. 1st I have also been endeavoring in a side project that I like to call, "trash to treasure." I am attempting to take care of myself. You'd think at the age of 30 that I would be an expert but you'd be wrong. The only thing I have become expert at is ignoring and excusing my trashy habits and routines. Part of this project entails me painting my nails every weekend for the upcoming week. I have managed it for 4 weeks in a row which means that I have also managed to stop biting my nails for 4 weeks in a row. ** cue tickertape parade** But, no one has noticed. The fanfare has been nil. Probably because caring for your nails is something most normal people can handle by age 8. I was ready to go back to eating my nails for lunch. Until Tuesday. On Tuesday I was in the health room at the school when this sweet boy that lives near me came in. He immediately grabbed my hand and started commenting on my great nails. The next day he found my sister to make sure she knew how great my nails were. His enthusiasm, sweetness and the randomness of it all really puffed up my ego and made me smile. The glitter nails have actually been getting me compliments all week. I always reply "you should never do it! 2.5 hrs and 14 coats for nails that are barely covered!" But now that I've learned the true power of glitter (and become used to daily compliments on my/my nails fantasticness) I'm reconsidering. I'll definitely be doing a pinterest search this weekend to see if there's an easier way or better brand.
So now you know (because I'm sure you had no clue before). Positive words, thank yous, gentle reminders and glitter can all be powerful things to add into your daily repertoire. Mull that over this weekend and hit me up with some powerful words and/or glitter via comments or the next time you see me. I won't remember to do the same, but I'll be trying to remember. It's all about the baby steps.