How YOU Doin'?

How's it going in #stayhome land? In this time of unrest, things could get a little hairy at home. OK, let's just call it like it is: we might become plain ol' sick of each other. We love our families, we really do. Sometimes we just don't like them. Little things that would never bother us now cause stress, an angry outburst, or grumbling under our breaths. If you have kids it might lead to a fist fight, or at the bare minimum a slap-fest. Hissy fits become more frequent. Moms might be found sobbing or Dads caught completely zoned out, just staring off into the distance. You know what I'm talking about. The walls are beginning to close in, and tension is rising. I've listed some ideas to try to avert this behavior. I'm trying desperately to not become a bitter woman because this little Pollyanna has a breaking point. I hope this helps you keep your house from becoming a war zone. Good luck out there.

1. Mind your manners. A "please" or a "thank you" can go a long way, especially in quarantine. Your tone also dictates the response you're going to receive. Remember, it's not what you say but how you say it. This is listed in my 'needs improvement' column. I'm afraid my tone isn't always like honey. I have the tendency to become a drill sergeant when I want things done. Hello. I'm Beth. I have a tone problem. Pray for me folks. This one's going to take a hot minute to fix.

2. Help out without complaining. Complete transparency: I struggle with the complaining part. If I didn't dirty the dishes, why in the heck should I have to put them in the dishwasher? Why do I have to ask for the garbage to be taken out? No-one is blind in this house, praise God. We are all grown adults for crying out loud! Instead of yelling at the top of my lungs for the culprit to come forth, I'm trying to take a deep breath and just put the dishes in the washer myself. It takes about 5 seconds. I'm happy that the sink is clean, and I've screamed at no-one. Put that in the win column. I'm also trying to thank anyone who puts their own dish away. Positive reinforcement is supposed to work, right? As for the trash removal, I'm still pushing one of the three men residing here to do that. I even scooted the can into the middle of the kitchen floor one morning and hub WALKED AROUND IT. I've now given up on self motivation in the garbage department. I'm back to asking for it to be taken out. If it's not done, I'll go to nagging. I'm not ashamed to own that. Do it the first time and I won't nag. I need to read #1 again. Crud.

3. Provide food. We're not eating out as much and I am the cook most of the time around here, so I try to keep the meals coming. This involves some planning and grocery shopping, but I'm getting to try new recipes. We may have a leftover/clean out the frig night from time to time. (Microwaves are awesome! I'm old enough to remember how it was before they were invented. Thank your lucky stars we have these time savers!) I do try to keep something homemade to fill the bellies that live here because "hangry people are angry people." This doesn't have to be a four-course dinner. Shoot, hot dogs can be fun if you put toppings in cute dishes.

4. Random acts of kindness go a long way. Hub worked in the yard the other day with his battery operated, freakishly quiet mower and weeder and brought me a flower from one of our bushes. He was so cute coming in with a little boy grin on his face as he presented it to me. That tiny act of kindness warmed my heart, and I put it in a bud vase immediately. Nicely done hub. Here's a photo.

Isn't it sweet?

5. Laugh a lot. Our fam jam has always been filled with laughter, mostly at my expense. I think it has to do with me being the only female residing here. Is that fair? Uh, NO..... but laughter is medicine. If we can make a joke instead of getting ticked off or offended, that's a good thing. I do a lot of stupid things, so there's a wealth of material. Have at it my people. You're welcome.

6. Say nice things. It seems so simple, doesn't it? However, sometimes the entire day can go by and I've not complimented those that I love the most. Hub did this perfectly last night. We were watching a comedian tell a joke about a husband in heaven getting the news that his wife was arriving. He wasn't thrilled to say the least. My hub commented, "I don't get that. I'd say, 'Yes!! Where is she? I've missed her. Now it's going to get really fun up here!'" I fell in love with him a little bit more in those 20 seconds. I may just take out the garbage today. Probably not.

7. Get outside. Even though we're social distancing, walks are allowed! Vitamin D is good for you! It clears the head and you can check off exercise from your list. I don't care if it was only a leisurely stroll to the mailbox, it counts!

8. Check on your people. Since the self quarantine began, Momma and I talk everyday. It's not a ridiculously long conversation, but we know the other one is fine and dandy, and we always end with an "I love you." Call your Momma if she's still on this earth. It's the right thing to do. That's all I'm going to say about that.

9. Learn something new. Don't allow your brain to go to mush. If you have a phone or computer, the world is at your fingertips. I learned how to link words to items yesterday to help my readers find stuff I write about. It's not a big thing, but I'd read blogs that had colored words that linked you to a visual or where to purchase the item with one click. I wanted those colored words. I researched it, but didn't understand the lingo. (surprise, surprise) I called my computer genius friend KK, and ta-daa! I can do it now! Enjoy the colored words. They link to cool stuff and look pretty.

10. Pray for our world. "A family that prays together, stays together." The old saying is true. There's a special bond in families that pray as a unit, especially prayer for others. People are hurting. They're frustrated. They're scared. Some are dying. In our neighborhood, we've begun lighting a candle on the front sidewalk and saying the Lord's Prayer at 8 every night. This simple act bonds our community, and also links us to the thousands around the world who are doing the same. Will you join us?

It only takes a spark....

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