Teaching respect

Family Concept 2, photo by Lynne Lancaster, UKChildren can get bored easily unless there are games to occupy them or they have the full attention of those they are with. However, it is important that they learn how to participate politely so that they get the attention of everyone instead of monopolising the attention of one person, usually a parent. In this way teaching respect helps them to learn how to entertain themselves. It’s a socialisation skill they need to learn as early as possible.

usually when her mother becomes involved
in a conversation with a friend? then
6 year old Angela would whisper in her ear
it was her first attempt at holding her mother’s attention
but Julie knew the dance well and she would
look at Angela in her eyes and remind her
that if she had something important to say she
would need to say excuse me and wait
otherwise she could do something else until
her mother was free to talk to her
I could see that Julie’s parenting skills
were teaching respect and in the long run
would help Angela develop good life strategies
instead of demanding that others make her happy

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Sulking is such a waste

677811_beyond_the_sea.jpgMany people resort to sulking when they are not pleased with someone’s behaviour. It is aimed at getting attention in the hope that the other person asks “what’s up” and then the sulker says “nothing”. The dance goes on until finally the sulker is convinced to share their hurt. Surely it is far healthier to learn how to be up front and honest about how you feel than doing this attention dance which can be such a waste and it causes resentments in relationships. We need to teach our children too how to communicate their needs openly to spare them resorting to sulking to get their way which in the end costs them.

the little girl was 8 and her mother had deserted them
so the father compensated by taking his daughter
to the movies 3 times a week for a while
it was an escape and took his mind off the pain
then he decided to stop overdosing on movies
but his daughter had her heart set on going that night
so she stood at the window looking out and sulking
after about one hour he asked her what was the matter?
in a good sulking pose she said “nothing”
so he went about cooking for the next day
another hour passed and she got tired of the act
and jumped at the opportunity to stop sulking when
he told her it was late and to get ready for bed!
it was a lesson not easily forgotten because
it served her no purpose

Beyond the sea, photo by Tolga KOSTAK, Izmir, Turkey, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/677811

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Escapism

Sunset  over New York City 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, United Sates, romantic cityLife can be so stressful that at times it does us good to see some movies that classify as codependent drivel. For women otherwise known as romantic comedies where ‘boy meets girl, they fight, then they end up together and live happily ever after’ and we leave the theatre smiling. This is often called a ‘chick flick’. For men the unbelievable action story where they dodge bullets and explosions and still live through, only to have sex with the perfect female star. As long as we remain aware that these movies are purely a form of escapism, then it is harmless codependent drivel.

my friend, Elizabeth, and I went to the movies
and as we considered which film to see
we spoke of our emotional state
I said I felt like watching something light
perhaps some codependent drivel
and we chuckled thinking about it
to this day I don’t remember what we saw
but I do remember us laughing
and leaving with uplifted spirits

sunset over New York city 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, USA, romantic city

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Time doesn’t have to fly

Savoring time, photo by Tim Nisly, Albuquerque, NM, United States, slowing downPeople say “time flies”. In actual fact we are responsible for how fast time passes. Remember when we were children how long one year seemed like so long? That was because we weren’t in control of our lives, others were – our parents, teachers and so on. As adults we are in charge and we can forget how to stay in ‘the now’ and enjoy just being. Instead we live from gratification to gratification – the next pay cheque, the next outing, the next shopping excursion, the debts being cleared, and many more excuses to be in the tomorrow. Then we are surprised that time flies.

I noticed how quickly Christmas comes and goes
and as I get older it unsettles me
if I am in charge of my life then
I am responsible for how quickly time flies
so I cleared my symbolic plate of
as many commitments that allowed me
to have more relaxation time and
life enjoyment activities
but definitely less busy time!
how amazingly slow the week went
giving me enjoyment and serenity
it’s as simple as that
now I just have to be vigil about
maintaining that pace

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Wedding day

la propuesta, photo by Gabriel Bulla, Isla Margarita, Venezuela,  wedding ceremonyBeing in love is amazing and people like to complete the experience by getting married. The wedding day can be formal or it can be as depicted in this photo, partly formal and partly casual. Whatever it is, the main emphasis needs to be on making the day exciting and unforgettable. As a celebrant I have been a part of many wedding ceremonies which can be seen in the weddings category on this page.

they were in love and well organised
they knew how they wanted to celebrate
their wedding day and it sounded
absolutely fantastic because
it would be on the beach with a
few members of the family
and close friends
they all loved dreamy weddings
and this one was so romantic too

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Music, flowers and incense

Romantic, photo by Meliha Gojak, Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina,  romantic symbolsWhen you want to lift your spirits then put on music and use some flowers to decorate the room. Then light some incense, there are different ones that please different people. These items will please three of your senses and whether you have a massage and a special something to eat of drink for the other senses depends on how much cheering you need. These are guaranteed to lift your spirits and make you feel special. Mind you, getting someone to share this with you is excellent but not essential, because on your own you prove that this experience has its merits.

It was Melbourne Cup Day and I had to
go to hydrotherapy instead of the usual
Fancy Hat Luncheon and Cup Sweep
my children phoned to say they had got me
Cup Sweep tickets at their workplaces
so I turned on the TV and for ambiance I
prepared the incense and some music
put on my huge black beach hat
and with half a glass of wine I sat
to enjoy my horses coming first
at that point my black cat Midnight flew out
obviously scared of my black hat but
returned immediately and spent the afternoon
poised opposite me on the lounge, staring
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and
one of my horses came third
that was a first for me
in more ways than one
and my spirits were lifted

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Bringing in the New Year

Fireworks, photo by Randall Chacon, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica, important celebrationsTonight, everyone the world over is attending a major celebration in their own city, usually involving fireworks, to bring in the New Year. It’s a beautiful event and can include different rituals in different cultures. In Sydney people gather at Sydney Harbour and the Opera House and celebrate watching a firework display for children at 9pm and another more spectacular at midnight. Those who stay at home watch the fireworks on their TVs which means we see celebrations in other parts of the world too.

when my children were small
we watched the fireworks from
our homes in the suburbs and then
after midnight played a friendly card game of 21
this is when we determined our luck for the year
it was thought that if you win it will be
a prosperous year for investments
however, if you lose then it was considered
in your best interests not to take risks
nevertheless, we had fun playing with
family and friends

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City Christmas decorations

Christmas Tree, photo by Martin Boose, Dresden, Germany, Christmas EveRemembering our history and that we are a country which has its foundation in the Christian faith, means that Christmas has been a huge festive event. Now that our society is multi-cultural it’s important that community education raises awareness to other cultures’ festive days too. Government claiming fairer treatment across all religions and rationalising expenses need not have reduced the city Christmas decorations. Such action is not good for our reputation here and overseas. Even if a portion of the community is secular there still needs to be a splash at Christmas especially in each major city, as in the past. So government funds need to be allocated accordingly.

I met with my family to celebrate Christmas Eve
tomorrow it’s their turn in their own homes and
then at the homes of the other side of the family
as the family grows so do the in-laws!
on the way home we drove through the city
to see the Christmas lights and decorations
even though I am not religious it’s
the time of the year I enjoy because of
its festivities and people’s joy
to our disappointment the city was almost bare
gone were the beautiful decorations at Sydney Town Hall
earlier today some tourists witnessed the
lack of decorations and perhaps this explanation sufficed
that government want to spend the minimum on a
Christian celebration so that the rest of the community
would find it fairer and so that money is not wasted!
then why did government not just increase their spending
for other cultural festivities and continue with the
usual Christmas festival?
government certainly spends a lot more on war, moreso
peaceful festivities warrant a larger chunk of the budget

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Wedding presents

Wedding gifts, photo by Gary Scott, Cambridge, Canada, wedding wishesWhen two people get married, guests share the happy event by giving wedding presents. The size and expense depends on the giver’s budget and their closeness to the couple. Nowadays, in this country, the couple chooses a store where they set up a register and the guests can go and buy whatever items the couple want. The purchasing process is made easier that way and duplications are avoided.

as we discussed their wedding plans
the bride mentioned that they had
even chosen the store for the register
and it was one which had a variety of prices
so that the wedding presents could even
be bought for a reasonable price
this was especially good because their guests
varied in financial circumstances so that
some could afford expensive presents
and others could not
this was a smart choice

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Chocolate highs

Hearts, photo by Stephen Gibson, Sydney Australia,  chocolate thrillsMost of us have heard about surveys that showed when we eat chocolate we get the same high as being in love. That is why we love chocolate. Eating chocolate releases endorphins which make us feel contented and happy. That’s quite harmless as long as we don’t do it to excess (addiction) and as long as we stay aware of our true feelings which will only become troublesome if we do not acknowledge them.

at the age of 11 my father married again
I was happy to have a stepmother and step siblings
family was important in my worldview and since
my mother left us taking my brother with her
I missed having my brother close but I didn’t miss
my mother’s screaming and abusive behaviours
my stepmother was a nurse’s aide and she
taught me how to keep a spotless house and
cook and wash and iron all the family’s clothes
she said I would always appreciate this in life
I don’t think she would be happy to hear that
thanks to that hard work when I married I
used to hire people to do my ironing and vacuuming
anyway, the best thing I remember about her is
that on Sunday mornings we used to all get into
bed together just long enough to eat some chocolate
she taught us how to suck the chocolate to make it last
and to really enjoy the taste – delaying gratification
now and then that’s how I still eat chocolate but
I can do that because I’m not addicted to chocolate

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